French President Emmanuel Macron has received a delegation of fishermen who have seen their livelihoods directly affected by Brexit, accompanied by Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune.
During the meeting, discussions centred on the failure to issue licences, the TCA with the UK and the French government’s pledge that a solution to the situation would be reached.
President of the Hauts-de-France Fisheries Committee Olivier Leprêtre commented that he ‘welcomed the unconditional support of the head of state and measures such as tighter restrictions on UK vessels from 1st January 2022 and the extension of aid for those who have been affected for almost a year by the ongoing situation.’
The British authorities will be requested to clarify during bilateral discussions the methodology used in accepting or rejecting allocations of licences to French vessels. The Minister of the Sea intends to appoint a representative to investigate the instances of vessels which are still without licences.
It was confirmed that technical measures applied by the UK do not apply to EU vessels unless the European Commission has been informed.
The French government confirmed that it will ask the European Commission to instigate a procedure against the UK before Christmas.
President Emmanuel Macron responded to the concerns of fishing industry representatives relating to dealings with the European Commission by commenting that some human feeling needs to be re-introduced to Common Fisheries Policy.