As the fishing license dispute escalates between the UK and the rest of Europe, France could go a step further.
Boris Johnson has so far refused to grant fishing licenses applied for by French boats under the UK post-Brexit, which has been a livelihood for many fishermen.
France “will not tolerate this,” said the Minister for European Affairs, Clement Beaune, the radio station Europe 1.
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Beaune said the EU is preparing to retaliate if licenses are not granted. One of these measures could be to disconnect the Channel Islands, which rely on energy from France, from electricity.
“It’s enough, we have a Michel Barnier agreement negotiated by France, and it should be applied 100 percent. It’s not like that,” said Beaune.
“In the next few days – and I spoke to my European colleagues on this matter yesterday – we will take action at European or national level to put pressure on the UK.”
“We defend our interests. We do it well and diplomatically, but when that doesn’t work we take action,” added Beaune.
“For example, we can imagine that we are talking about energy … Britain depends on our energy supplies. It thinks it can live all alone and destroy Europe. One could imagine the Channel Islands, for example, where Great Britain depends on us for its energy supply. “
It is not the first time these measures have been rumored. French Fisheries Minister Annick Girardin said just a few months ago that the row of fishermen could see the underwater cable that powers Jersey cut.
The issue of fishing licenses is a constant subject of tension between the UK and the EU as no agreement has been reached since the UK left the bloc on January 1, 2021.
“Our patience has clear limits,” said Beaune. “We have now negotiated calmly and nicely for nine months, that’s enough. You think you [UK Government] can live all alone. “