French top diplomat slams Brexit Britain for using France and EU as ‘scapegoat’

EU is being used as ‘scapegoat’ says former French Ambassador

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The former ambassador called the UK out for not giving enough licences to French fishermen, saying the French “are defending the interests of their fishermen”. Ms Bermann claimed the British “always blame the French” whenever a new issue arises. The accusation came after France threatened to cut the UK and Jersey energy supplies unless more fishing permits are granted and the Brexit deal is implemented in full.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight, the former French Ambassador said: “I think concerning the Northern protocol, it’s not being curious or not curious.

“They accuse not only the French but also the EU.

“It’s kind of a scapegoat.

“You signed an agreement, you qualify yourself as fantastic, and afterwards, you don’t implement it.”

She continued: “So there is a serious problem. It’s not being reasonable or not reasonable. The question of fisheries is maybe different.

“We defend the interests of our fishermen, and well we consider that we didn’t receive licences and we know that the fishermen should give evidence.”

The host interrupted: “Sorry to interrupt-it is difficult on zoom,  but isn’t everybody defending their interest?

“The UK says if we’re defending our interests, we’re defending the interests of our fishermen.”

Ms Bermann said: “But the problem is that we received not enough licences, and we consider that it’s more difficult for small boats to give evidence because they don’t have GPS.

“So we expect that we’ll receive more licences from the UK and from Jersey as well.”

France has intensified pressure on the UK over post-Brexit fishing rights, warning that they will cut off the UK and Jersey energy supply.

The French government is angry that the UK only granted 12 licences out of 47 bids for smaller vessels to fish in its territorial waters.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has accused the UK of not respecting its Brexit deal commitments on fishing.

“Britain does not respect its own signature,” he told French MPs.

“Month after month, the UK presents new conditions and delays giving definitive licences… this cannot be tolerated.”

However, Lord Frost has insisted that 98 percent of EU applications to fish in British waters had been granted.
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