Brexit LIVE: French fishing chief ‘begs’ Macron to take UK boats to court over access

Brexit: Northern Ireland 'being used as a plaything' says Poots

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Gérard Romiti, president of France’s National Fisheries Committee wrote to the French president following tense fishing disputes between France, the UK and Jersey last month. 

In the letter to President Macron, Mr Romiti said French fishermen in Normandy, Hauts de France and Brenton were upset at the lack of access to British waters.

He urged President Macron to “examine all the levers available” to “strictly” enforce the Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed by the EU and the United Kingdom on December 24th.

Mr Romiti specifically urged Paris to look at a “legal plan or retaliatory measures” against the UK over their poor implementation of the agreement which he claimed, “threatened the very future” of the country’s fishing industry.

He concluded: “I am looking forward to the continued support and attention.

“I beg you to believe, Mr President.”

Jersey’s picturesque main port of Saint Helier saw French fishermen stage an angry protest over the new system of allocating fishing rights last month.

A flotilla of boats sailed over at dawn and threatened to blockade the harbour with a standoff briefly escalating as Britain sent over gunboats.

 

Until the post-Brexit deal, the rules for French boats had been fixed under an agreement called the Granville Bay Treaty signed in 2000 between Jersey and France.

Elsewhere in the country, fishermen in Boulogne and Calais have complained about the lack of licences to fish in the English Channel from the UK Government.

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8am update: EU attacks new DUP leader Edwin Poots over Northern Ireland protocol stance 

The EU’s ambassador to the UK has accused new DUP leader Edwin Poots of making comments about the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol that lack “adherence to reality”.

Joao Vale de Almeida was asked about Mr Poots saying that the agreement was “demonstrable harm to every individual in Northern Ireland” and is having a “devastating impact”.

The ambassador told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “First of all I don’t think those statements have adherence to reality. The EU is politically, financially and emotionally, I would say, committed to peace and prosperity for everybody in Northern Ireland.”

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