A day before a European deadline, France and the United Kingdom are still at loggerheads over fishing. French authorities say the British have yet to approve nearly 100 permits for French fishermen to work in British waters.
Countries are arguing over fisheries now that the United Kingdom has left the European Union. London and Brussels have devised a system whereby licenses are granted to fishermen who want to fish in each other’s waters, but implementation is difficult.
The French believe that the United Kingdom grants too few permits, while the British argue that the correct documentation is sometimes not provided. French minister Annick Girardin said that her country will compete for any fishing license on Thursday.
The quarrel had already escalated. French authorities have threatened trade measures and seized a British fishing boat sometime earlier this year. Angry French fishermen have also erected blockades to disrupt trade between the countries. The European Commission has set a deadline for the UK on December 10. Then the British must have met the concerns of member states about fishing licenses.