Brexit: France readying sanctions if UK withholds fishing licences

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PARIS, Oct 27 (Reuters) – French fishermen lack half of the licences they need to fish in British territorial waters and which Paris says are owed to them after Brexit, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said Wednesday, adding the country was working on possible sanctions.

Attal said France was drawing up a list of sanctions that it could make public as early as Thursday. Some of them would come into effect early next week unless enough progress had been made, he added.

“Our patience is reaching its limits,” added Attal, who highlighted that France’s supply of electricity to Britain could be one of the measures.

French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune seperately told a French parliamentary hearing that France could step up border checks on goods from Britain if the situation regarding the fishing licences did not improve.

“Our objective is not to impose these measures, it is to get the licences,” Beaune added.

The dispute centres on the issuance of licences to fish in territorial waters six to 12 nautical miles off Britain’s shores, as well as in the seas off the coast of Jersey, a Crown Dependency in the Channel.

Photo – EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER

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