France extends deadline for sanctions on Britain in fishing dispute

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronMacron says Australia’s Morrison lied about submarine deal Macron: Britain’s resolution to fishing disagreement a test of country’s credibility Overnight Defense & National Security — Biden discusses Afghanistan, submarine deals in Europe MORE said Monday that planned trade-related sanctions on Great Britain would be postponed so negotiators could focus on settling an argument over fishing rights following Brexit.

France had previously announced it would limit cross-channel trade, which could have caused a major riff between two of the largest economies in Europe, according to Reuters.

Reuters also reported that earlier on Monday, Great Britain told France it had 48 hours to walk back the threats of sanctions or it would face legal action, per the Brexit trade deal.

“As we have said consistently, we are ready to continue intensive discussions on fisheries, including considering any new evidence to support the remaining licence applications,” a U.K. government spokesperson said in a statement

“We welcome France’s acknowledgement that in-depth discussions are needed to resolve the range of difficulties in the UK/EU relationship,” the statement added. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Macron on the sidelines of the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

“Since this afternoon, discussions have resumed on the basis of a proposal I made to Prime Minister Johnson. The talks need to continue,” Macron said, per Reuters.

“My understanding is that the British were going to come back to us tomorrow with other proposals. All that will be worked on. We’ll see where we are tomorrow at the end of the day, to see if things have really changed,” the French president added.

For decades, fishing rights have been a source of arguments between Britain and France. 

Reclaiming Britain’s fishing rights was at the center of Johnson’s push for Brexit that was presented to voters.

Macron, for his part, faces reelection this year and has a desire to present himself as a strong, vocal proponent of France’s rights, Reuters added. 

“My wish is that we can find a way out on all these issues,” Macron said.

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