Posted on Nov 24, 2021 5:00 PMUpdated Nov 24, 2021, 5:44 p.m.
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Since Brexit, things have gone from bad to worse on the issue of fisheries between France and the United Kingdom. About 200 French artisanal fishermen are on the dock, without obtaining the licenses granted to work in British waters. And the meeting between Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson, during the G20 in Rome at the end of October, did not change anything. The loss is not trivial when we know that between 2011 and 2015, France caught 100,000 tonnes of fish in British waters, or 24% of the volume produced in mainland France.
The tone is increasing on both sides. To the demonstrations in May by French fishermen on the outskirts of Jersey, the UK responded by sending two military boats. France threatens to cut power or block trucks in Dover. The confrontation is on a highly political terrain, with the desire to show a sovereignty found in its waters for Boris Johnson and the prospect of the presidential election of Emmanuel Macron.
I will go to both sides of the Channel
If the French risk losing licenses, the worst has certainly been avoided. And the bitterness is even greater in the business on the other side of the Channel, in whose ranks are many pro-Brexit voters who have been promised the impossible. If British waters are full of fish, it is the continental Europeans who consume the product, leading the Spanish and French. The issue is also on diplomatic ground. Therefore, the fisheries file could be a lever to put pressure on France, in particular on the question of Northern Ireland.
The Story is an “Echoes” podcast hosted by Pierrick Fay. This episode was recorded in November 2021. Editor-in-chief: Clémence Lemaistre. Guests: Catherine Chatignoux (“Echos” International Service journalist) and Ingrid Feuerstein (“Echos” London correspondent). Director: Willy Ganne. Music: Théo Boulenger. Graphic identity: Upian. Photo: Nicolas Garriga / AP / SIPA. Sounds: Les Patapons, Le Petit Relator, France 24, BFM TV, TV5 Monde, LBC Studios, RTS, LCI, Claude LE-QUANG, La Cambuse “The 31st of August”.
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