‘Not happy!’ France threatens the UK with legal action once again as the Brexit fishing dispute erupts. 

France’s minister for European affairs cautioned that his country is “not happy” with the current state of things as the two sides continue to disagree over licences for French ships to enter British seas after Brexit. 

The government of Emmanuel Macron said last month that 93% of the licences sought by France had been granted. This is an improvement over the 60% of licences that had been granted to French fishermen at the beginning of November 2021, six months earlier. 

A senior assistant to President Macron, Clement Beaune, is upset with what he sees as a lack of movement after additional licences were given in December. He reiterates a legal threat France made earlier this year. 

The Europe minister added that while negotiations with the UK are ongoing, “we are not at the end of the road yet.” He had earlier said that France wanted another 73 applications for its vessels approved. 

At a news conference for the European Commission in Brussels, he stated: “Our analysis is very simple – we are not 100 percent satisfied because we do not think the agreement has been implemented to the tune of 100 percent either.”

“We, together with the commission, will be looking at all the levers at our disposal to see what can be done, because quite clearly we are not happy with the situation.”

“We do have to continue our dialogue on this specific fisheries-related issue to ensure we can get those licences which have not yet been forthcoming”

Additionally, as we said in December, legal action could be taken if discussion proves to be ineffective. 

Both parties have been at odds about fishing licences in the seas around the British shoreline, especially for smaller French boats that must demonstrate they were operating there before to Brexit. Source

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