Brexit LIVE: Truss wades in on UK and France fishing row urging ‘pragmatic’ approach at
Boris Johnson has caved into the demands of the French and granted 18 new fishing licences for EU replacement vessels in its waters, but Brussels has demanded seven more.
The EU gave the UK until December 10 to issue more fishing licences to French vessels.
Emmanuel Macron’s government has threatened to take retaliatory measures against Britain if more licences were not granted, accusing the Government of failing to honour the terms of the EU trade deal.
But now, the UK Government has granted 18 licences for Brussels vessels, with Jersey issuing a further five licences for EU boats in its waters.
It is believed talks will continue, with the bloc demanding another seven licences by Monday.
An EU Commission spokesperson told the Telegraph: “EC had invited the UK to intensify joint efforts in order to conclude on all outstanding licence requests by EU fishing vessels by Dec 10.
“With today’s announcements, this resulted in 83 additional vessels receiving clarity for their fishing in the UK waters.”
A UK Government spokeswoman said: “On direct replacement vessels, we have taken an approach in line with the TCA which provides stability and ensures the sustainability of our fisheries.
“Last night, following receipt of new evidence from the (European) Commission, the UK licensed 18 replacement vessels on the basis of this methodology.
“Further technical work on seven more licences for direct replacement vessels is scheduled to conclude on Monday.
“Jersey has today announced that it can, following receipt of new data this week, issue permanent licences to an additional five qualifying vessels currently on temporary licences.
“This will take the total permanent licences issued by Jersey to 130.
“This now concludes this phase of intensive talks on licensing.”
Under the terms of the post-Brexit trade agreement signed last December, fishing boats with historic access to Britain’s waters must be given permits to allow them to continue to do so.
They must prove they accessed the waters at least one day a year between 2013 and 2016.
On Thursday Downing Street refused to back down in the face of fresh French threats of EU-wide retaliation if more licences were not granted.