Macron says Britain’s resolution of Channel fishing rights a test of U.K.’s credibility


Although it has been a while since Brexit has come and gone, there are some simmering tensions between longtime rivals Britain and France. The latest bone of contention is fishing rights in the English Channel. Both President Emmanuel Macron of France and President Boris Johnson of the U.K. are putting forth strong words for what many in Europe and the rest of the world consider a minor issue.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that the U.K.’s credibility in the global stage will be seen by the manner in which it resolves the dispute. France has said that some of its fishing vessels have been denied permits in its traditional fishing grounds. Britain says that it has granted 98 percent of the permits applied for by EU vessels and French boats were denied permits due to insufficient paperwork.

This week, a Scottish registered scallop dredger was detained by French authorities at Le Havre for fishing without a license and it will face a court hearing next year. France also said that British boats crossing the Channel could be blocked and checks on boats and trucks would be tightened. France also asked EU for support.

UK Brexit Minister David Frost, who is considered hostile by EU negotiators, also stood ground and took a strong stand and spoke of a formal legal procedure and more. He told France and the EU “to step back.”

Macron told the Financial Times that Britain needed to show its credibility to Europe as well as to the world and hoped that “good will” would solve the dispute.

The Associated Press reported that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his nation’s news outlets that if there was a breach of the treaty or of they perceived that there was a breach, they would do what was necessary to protect British interests.

Jean Marc Puissesseau, who is the president and chairman of two major norther ports—Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer called the spat “ridiculous” and asked both France and the U.K. to resolve it.

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