France erupted in outrage last week when the UK rejected all but 12 out of 47 French applications for new licences for small boats to operate in Britain’s fishing grounds. French President Emmanuel Macron has considered retaliation measures, such as slapping the UK with tariffs and cutting off British access to EU energy supplies. Andy Read, the editor of Fishing News, said that “the French assume they can bully us into further submission”.334
This comes after the EU told France to back down over its fishing threats to the UK.
Mr Read told GB News: “The UK has already licensed 1600 European Union vessels to fish in British waters this year.
“88 French vessels are already licensed to fish inside the UK’s 6 – 12 mile zone. And 19 are licensed to fish in Jersey.
“The argument is about a number of small vessels that can’t prove they fished in UK waters previously.”
He continued: “It is election time in France.
“Fishing is a much bigger political priority in France than in the UK.
“The biggest single market for our export of fish is France and I think the French assume they can bully us into further submission.”
Mr Macron has come under pressure from presidential rivals to take action against the UK.
The Commission plans to engage in a detailed “boat-by-boat” negotiation with the UK over the issue.
A senior EU diplomat told the Telegraph: “Once again France is instrumentalising the EU for national interests.”
A second source said: “We need to cool the temperature of the water. We need to sit down and talk amicably. It’s very warm water at the moment and that doesn’t help anyone.”
Earlier this week, French Prime Minister Jean Castex told the national parliament that Brussels had to “do more” and be “tougher” with London.