Friday, November 5, 2021

Paris, London hold talks to ease tensions over fishing dispute - China.org.cn

Britain's Brexit Minister David Frost and French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune held talks in Paris on Thursday to try to ease tensions over a fishing row between the two countries.

However, Beaune said afterwards that a lot of work remains to be done, since significant differences remain.

According to French media, the main sticking point during Thursday's talks was the interpretation of the post-Brexit agreement on fishing. France has accused the UK of imposing tougher requirements for issuing fishing permits.

Last week, the French Ministry of the Sea retaliated by announcing that from Tuesday, British fishing vessels will be banned from docking in six French ports in Hauts-de-France, Normandy and Brittany. It also said France would strengthen sanitary, customs and safety checks on British ships and lorries.

However, French President Emmanuel Macron subsequently ruled out these retaliatory measures, saying: "It is not while we are negotiating that we will impose sanctions."

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the press on Thursday that the French had agreed not to "proceed with these threats."

"Both sides are keen to have further discussions," he added.

According to Beaune, further talks will be held early next week.

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