Industries dependent on British products in the EU have expressed concern after Emmanuel Macron threatens to punish Britain as rows erupt over fisheries.
If there isn’t any resolution to the ongoing talks around fisheries by the 10th December, Frances Minister for Europe has urged Brussels to get involved and punish the UK with retaliatory measures.
The European Commission has said any negotiations on fisheries must be sorted out before the 10th December deadline is reached, Otherwise, they will activate punishment measures onto Britain, something which many industries dependent on British products are concerned about.
Barry Deas, leader of Britain’s National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisation, has raised the point that retaliatory measures won’t just affect Britain, they will also affect the EU.
Barry Deas said to the Express: “It would ultimately impact us down to the vessel level. I think it would impact on everybody.
“There are businesses in France and the EU that are dependent on fish and shellfish from the UK for their existence.
“There would be harm all around.
“It’s quite interesting that voices have now been raised within the French industry expressing concern about the implications of that.
“Then there is a threat to zero-tolerance enforcement and I suppose the scalloper who was arrested in Le Harve is an example of that.
“There was some kind of administrative slip-up. Something like that would have been dealt with by a phone call.
“Clearly, our vessels fishing in French waters would be exposed, but there are many, many more French vessels fishing in UK waters than UK vessels fishing in French waters.
“If we were going to go down that tit for tat rabbit hole, then everybody would be harmed.”
On Wednesday, Clement Beaune, French minister for Europe and Macrons right-hand man had stated the fisheries issue isn’t just a French problem, it’s an EU wide problem.
Mr Beaune warned that if an agreement cannot be struck, French punitive measures such as a ban on British trawlers landing their catches in French ports and harsher customs procedures to stifle cross-Channel commerce remain “on the table.”
“It was the European Commission that told the British – so all of Europe together – that if you don’t make big gestures with a lot of licences on 10th December, we are no longer in a European dialogue,” he told RTL, a French radio network.
“It’s one of the possible options,” Mr Beaune said of a French ban, “but it’s better, to be honest, to have European measures.”
“All options are on the table because it’s better to have a dialogue, but… if it doesn’t bear fruit, we can take European measures,” says the official.
Annick Girardin, France’s marine minister, also warned of European retaliation, telling the Ouest France newspaper on Tuesday that the conflict is “London is testing the solidarity of the European Union” in the spat.”