GB News: France's 'deeply offensive' Brexit threat slammed
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
The UK and France narrowly avoided a full-blown trade war last week after political hostilities ramped up over the ongoing dispute on fishing licence applications. The UK Government conceded an additional 83 fishing licences, which fell short of French demands, which failed to appease the angry northern French fishermen who say they will still continue with a UK blockade of Calais on December 23. Political journalist and commentator, Dr John Coulter told GB News the move was “deeply offensive” considering the recent Remembrance Sunday services which marked the UK and France’s effort in the world wars.
Speaking on GB News, Dr Coulter gave his assessment of the French political fallout and the threats from fishers against UK boats.
He told the station: “I have to say, in all honesty, this move by the French is deeply offensive.
“I mean, it’s only less than about a month since we in the United Kingdom commemorated Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day.
“I didn’t hear the French complaining too much in 1914 or about 1944 when the British arrived in [France].
“There were no blockades in France then when we British arrived there to liberate France from the Germans on that aspect.
“So I think from that point of view, this is a major diplomatic row and we need a full-scale apology from President Macron.”
In November, French boats prevented a P&O ferry from entering the Calais port which was deemed as a warning shot to the UK Government.
Now, disgruntled fishers have said they will continue with the blockade later this month as they say they have been ignored and let down by leaders.
Brexit: Fishing industry was 'sacrificed' by government says Deas
The ongoing fishing licence dispute has seen French authorities ramp up their rhetoric against the UK with one minister suggesting power to Jersey could be cut off.
Jersey sees a large amount of its power generated in France which is then moved through underwater cables but the island was threatened with blackouts over fishing licence applications.
As part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), French boats were required to resubmit their UK fishing licence applications to prove they have historically operated in the waters.
A Jersey minister told Express.co.uk the plan was to put a cap on new boats operating around Jersey but it has not been completely successful.
Instead, French boats have struggled to come up with the right evidence meaning many have been rejected with several grace period extensions being granted because of this.
Don Thompson, President of the Jersey Fishermen Association, told Express.co.uk he believes the French Government is deliberately sending bogus applications they know will not be accepted to make the UK look bad.
Verhofstadt accused of being obsessed by UK as he takes dig at Leavers [REACTION]
Boris brutally mocked while delivering vital booster jab speech [VIDEO]
Brexit: French fishermen plot major blockades over Christmas [ANALYSIS]
Mr Thompson believes it is being done to manoeuvre France in a more favourable position during negotiations and to capitalise on the looming French presidential election.
In May, dozens of French boats protested around the waters of St Helier as they grew angry over being shut out of UK waters.
Many northern fishing groups rely heavily on UK waters to make their living with Mr Thompson suggesting the French fleet operating around Jersey being nearly four times larger than the domestic one.
Andrew Bridgen, Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, said: “It is very disappointing given that over 98 per cent of French fishermen have applied for licences and received them.
“I have no doubt that their unreasonable action will be much supported by President Macron in the run-up to his elections in April. Let’s not forget, these are sovereign waters and our fish.”
Olivier Lepretre, head of the Hauts-de-France regional fisheries committee, added: “Protests are planned, following on from the blockade of Breton and Norman ports that took place on November 26.
“Actions will target the import of British products. French fishermen are more than ever united against adversity and don’t intend to take it lying down faced with so much bad faith.”
Source: Read Full Article