the essential In the conflict over fishing between France and the United Kingdom, Emmanuel Macron spoke during his trip to the North on Friday. The head of state assures us that the government will not “let go” of the French fishermen.
“I refuse to be referred to a bilateral dialogue” because “it is not just a subject between France and the British, it is a subject of respect for the word given” during the conclusion of the agreements of the Brexit between London and the 27, according to him. Today they (the British) do not respect “these agreements,” I made it very clear to Boris “Johnson, the British Prime Minister, he insisted.
“We play with our nerves”.
In recent weeks, “there is progress that has been made; our fishermen from Hauts-de-France, Normandy and Brittany know it. Some have already been able to resume their activities but we have not obtained everything”. “We do not understand why (…) we play with our nerves”, also affirmed the president.
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Fishing professionals reacted angrily to remarks by Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin, who spoke on Thursday of a compensation plan for fishermen who lose their licenses for British waters. Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune said on Friday that France was not “backing down” and was still asking for the “same number” of licenses in London.
Several opposition figures, including Xavier Bertrand, Michel Barnier and Valérie Pécresse (LR), Marine Le Pen (RN) and Fabien Roussel (PCF), strongly criticized the government’s “retreat” on this issue to less than five presidential month.
Emmanuel Macron assured that the government would continue “to support” the fishermen “as long” as the negotiations continue.