FRANCE’s Foreign Minister has pledged Paris will use “coercive measures” against the UK to ensure Westminster plays by the Brexit agreement’s fishing rules.
Jean-Yves Le Drian claimed the UK “unilaterally do not respect” commitments agreed as part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed by the EU and the United Kingdom on December 24th.
The Minister said proposed fishing licenses in Jersey waters and British territorial waters did not conform to strict criteria within the cooperation agreement.
Mr Le Drain added in the letter sent to regional fishing chiefs: “We cannot accept these new manoeuvres and we will continue to defend the rights of our fishermen.”
The Minister pledged Paris would not “hesitate to mobilize all the levers” on a “political and legal level and all the coercive measures at our disposal” to take action if needed.
He stressed the Trade and Cooperation Agreement made it possible to suspend access to European waters for British fishermen or to impose customs duties on their products.
He concluded: “The British, unilaterally and without any prior consultation, do not respect the commitments made within the framework of the agreement.
“They interpret the stipulations in such a way as to empty them of their substance or even impose new conditions not only not foreseen in the agreement but which moreover are in contradiction with the spirit of the said agreement ”.
It comes after fishermen across Northern France complained about the lack of access to fish in the English Channel from the UK Government.
Issues have also been raised with Jersey after the implementation of a new series of licences with a group of French vessels attempting to blockade St Helier Harbour in protest.
8:45am update: Northern Ireland post-Brexit pet checks delayed
There will be a delay to the introduction of Brexit pet travel checks on animals entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain until at least October 1, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has announced.
The checks had been expected to begin in July.
Under the new rules, animals would have needed a rabies vaccine, an EU pet passport and a tapeworm treatment, for travel across the Irish Sea.
8am update: Lord Frost calls for common sense over Northern Ireland Protocol
Brexit minister Lord Frost has said he believes the Northern Ireland Protocol is not sustainable for long in the form it is currently operating.
Lord Frost also called on the EU to show more “common sense” when dealing with the problems arising from the protocol.
He was in Northern Ireland to meet business and community representatives to discuss the challenges they are facing following the departure from the EU.