UK and France fail to agree an end to post-Brexit fishing dispute
Ross Cullen in Paris

The UK and France have failed to agree an end to their ongoing dispute over fishing.

The two sides say negotiations related to licenses and access to UK and EU waters for trawlers will continue next week. 

It follows talks on Thursday in Paris between the UK Brexit Minister David Frost and Clement Beaune, France's Europe minister. 

The statement from the UK read: "Lord Frost and Europe Minister Clement Beaune met in Paris this morning.

"As foreshadowed, they discussed the range of difficulties arising from the application of the agreements between the UK and the EU. Both sides set out their positions and concerns. 

"Lord Frost and minister Beaune expect to speak again early next week."



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At the start of the week, France threatened to impose sanctions on British boats, including potentially barring them from landing their catch in French ports. 

France's President Emmanuel Macron then suspended the possible new restrictions, saying that dialogue must be given a chance. 

The wider post-Brexit dialogue will continue on Friday when Frost travels to Brussels to meet European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic. 

The two men will discuss the problems related to the Northern Ireland Protocol, as well as fishing. 


On Thursday, Clement Beaune tweeted a picture of him and David Frost in Paris. 

France's Europe minister said he was "happy to receive David Frost in Paris to relaunch a necessary dialogue and to ensure our agreements are enacted." 

Those agreements include trying to align on the confirmation of licenses for boats from France to be able to continue to fish in British waters and vice versa. 

In 2019, UK vessels caught around $1 billion worth of fish in UK waters. In the same year, UK vessels caught around $143m worth in EU waters. 

Danish, Dutch and French fishing vessels in particular rely heavily on being able to fish in UK waters. The three nations catch more than 300,000 tons of the UK's fish every year. 

But despite the key role fishing is playing in UK-EU discussions, it only has a small impact economically. 

In the UK, the fishing industry is worth just 0.1 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), while for the EU bloc the value comes to 0.2 percent.

For France alone, it makes up 0.06 per cent of GDP.


Video of returning trawler: Cameraman and producer - Simon Ormiston; Editor - Feng Beijing

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