Jersey acts: France backs down with threats after five or six new licences offered

Fishing: French behaving in 'appalling manner' says Gardiner

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So far, Jersey has rejected at least 55 applicants from French fishermen or which “five or six” are replacement boats. Jersey’s minister for external affairs, Ian Gorst, said his Government was willing to examine any new evidence “boat by boat”.

The UK and Jersey have said they will issue licences to boats that meet the test of being able to prove if they have previously operated in their coastal waters.

Mr Gorst said: “There are some issues around replacement vessels that we can sort out earlier than we might have envisaged, that is for both us and the UK.

“I think that would be quite a good way to move things forward and allow more time.

“Of the vessels that the EU is asking us to reconsider, at least a handful, about five or six, are replacement vessels.

“The French have taken the view that it is better to try to deal with the individual vessels than trigger countermeasures whereby everybody will become entrenched.”

Annick Girardin, French minister for the seas, told the National Assembly France wanted clarity from Britain by the end of Tuesday on how 14 vessels could secure licences.

Ms Girardin demanded swift agreement on the issue of replacement boats and she requested Jersey agree to reconsider its position of a further 13 rejected boats.

Mr Gorst expressed concerns relations between Britain and France could turn sour again if France was unable to offer evidence to secure permits.

He told the Guardian: “We have been here before

“What we would ask about that is, if they have not been able to provide evidence to date it would seem strange to say the least that they could provide evidence for the 55 in the course of the next three days.

“We believe the evidence has got to be provable.”

On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron backtracked on his midnight deadline to resolve the ongoing row with Britain over fishing rights

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Mr Macron climbed down on his threat just hours after saying he was ready to press ahead with retaliatory measures against Britain, suggesting he wanted to give negotiators time to find a solution.

France had earlier said that, starting from 11pm on Monday, it would restrict cross-Channel trade, threatening to turn bickering over fish into a wider dispute between two of Europe’s biggest economies.

Mr Macron told reporters the French plan was on hold pending the outcome of the renewed talks.

He told reporters: “Since this afternoon, discussions have resumed on the basis of a proposal I made to Prime Minister (Boris) Johnson.

“The talks need to continue.”

He added: “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.

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

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