Fishing rights: Artus Galiay says France has been ‘inappropriate’
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Artus Galiay, Hauts-de-France representative to the UK has declared France’s handling of the fishing-rights row to be”completely inappropriate and dangerous.” Mr Galiay told TalkRADIO that President Emmanuel Macron’s Government was “threatening moves that would endanger jobs across France and Europe.” President Macron’s ministers have threatened to tighten customs check with the UK and cut power supplies off to the Channel Islands in the escalating row over fishing.
Mr Galiay told TalkRADIO: “Let’s look at the heart of the problem so, to begin there is the fishing issue and the fact that French fishermen have not received the licences to continue fishing in UK Waters.
“Whereas in fact, that is their right because this is what has been enshrined in the Brexit trade and cooperation agreement between the UK and the EU as part of the overall package that has been agreed.
“So it was about time that the French government did something about it, but the real problem is that their reaction is completely inappropriate and even dangerous because for that specific issue they are really threatening to take moves that will actually engage jobs and workers not just in our region, but also across France, and Europe. People who actually depend on having a smoothly functioning Franco-British border.”
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It comes as Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned France will face calls for compensation if Paris does not back down.
Ms Truss told Sky News: “The French have made completely unreasonable threats, including to the Channel Islands and to our fishing industry, and they need to withdraw those threats.
“Or else we will use the mechanisms of our trade agreement with the EU to take action”
Sky News host Kay Burley questioned: “So what does that mean?
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“What that means is that we will use the dispute resolution mechanism, which could lead to taking direct action in trade,” replied the Foreign Secretary.
“What looking at the resolution mechanism…the French have behaved unfairly.
“It’s not within the terms of the trade, if somebody behaves unfairly in a trade deal you are entitled to take action against them and seek some compensatory measures.
“And that is what we will do, if the French don’t back down.”
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Ms Burley asked: “Okay when you say back down, what do you want that to look like?
“Well stop threatening UK fishing vessels stop threatening the channel ports and accept we are entirely within our rights to allocate the fishing licences in line with the trade agreement as we have done,” replied Ms Truss
Asked that was motivated France’s outbursts, Ms Truss told Sky News: “You might say there’s a French election coming up. You might say that there are various other issues of concern.
“What I would say to the French is that we are fellow freedom-loving democracies. We should not be fighting with each other, we should be focusing our efforts on working together.”
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