Breaking Brexit Channel France LONDON

Britain has granted another 23 licences to French fishermen, a British government spokesperson said today, a day after a deadline set by Paris to resolve a post-Brexit battle over fishing rights

The EU had set London a 10 December deadline to grant licences to dozens of French fishing boats under a Brexit deal signed last year, with Paris threatening European legal action if no breakthrough emerged.
The licences were agreed last night after British officials met European Union counterparts and followed what the spokesman called an “evidence-based approach” ensuring vessels qualify to work in UK waters.
The spokesperson added that the approach “provides stability and ensures the sustainability of our fisheries”, with the UK granting 18 licences and the Channel Island of Jersey five.
The EU hailed the agreement “an important step in a long process” towards implementing the 2020 Brexit agreement and said work continued to license seven more vessels by Monday.
France had previously said 104 of its boats still lacked licences to operate in British and Channel Island waters that should have been granted under the Brexit agreement.
Under the deal, EU fishermen can continue to work in British waters if they can prove they used to fish there.
Paris threatened to lodge a complaint with the European Commission over the dispute.
That could have seen the EU impose financial penalties or even tariffs on British goods if Britain was judged to be reneging on its commitments.
The EU added that 83 vessels had received licences since it attempted to intensify negotiations over outstanding applications in late November.
French fishermen last month disrupted cross-Channel ferry and freight traffic in protest at the post-Brexit arrangements and consequent loss of trade.