Lord Frost has criticized a French minister for threatening to cut Britain’s imported energy supply amid rising tensions over fishing licenses after Brexit.
The Brexit minister claimed it was “unfair” to suggest that the UK was acting in bad faith when it came to allocating Brexit fishing licenses to French boats and urged Paris to “keep things in proportion”. did.
France’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune said on Tuesday it would take European or national measures to pressure Britain, after it emerged that Britain had rejected several applications by French boats to fish in British waters.
The government confirmed last month that it had approved only 12 of 47 applications received from French small boats, although Lord Frost suggested Britain was “extremely generous” to EU requests.
Mr Beun told French radio station Europe 1 that the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) should be “fully implemented” as part of the Brexit divorce deal.
Asked if Paris would not retaliate, he replied: “The UK depends on our energy exports, they think they can be left alone beating Europe and given that it doesn’t work , they engage aggressively—uppermost.”
Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party convention on Tuesday, Mr Frost accused France of being fraudulent about the UK’s position on fishing access.
“We have given 98 percent of license applications to fish from EU boats according to various criteria in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, so we do not accept that we are not complying with that agreement,” he said. .
“We have been extremely generous and French, focusing on a small range of boats and claiming we have behaved unfairly, I think is not really a fair reflection of the effort we have put in.”
The cabinet minister acknowledged that Britain would “prefer a different kind of fisheries deal” in the Brexit deal but said Britain was trying to meet the agreed terms.
“We agreed to this deal and we’re implementing it in good faith, so I think it’s unfair to suggest that we haven’t,” he continued.
“If there is a response from France, they have to persuade others in the EU to go with it, and it needs to be proportionate.”
It follows a long-running dispute between the UK and France over fishing rights after Brexit. In May, Boris Johnson dispatched two Royal Navy patrol boats to rescue Jersey from a feared blockade by French fishing vessels.
Paris was also furious when figures emerged that the Jersey government had rejected 75 of the 170 license applications it had received from France.
Jersey gets 95 percent of its electricity supply from France, with less than half of Britain’s electricity imports, as of 2020, coming from the same source.
A spokesman for the Government of Jersey said: “Jersey has followed the procedure set out by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement during the process of allocating the license.
“Jersey’s electricity service is based on a long-term contract with EDF and we do not expect any interruptions in supply.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /