The UK has reportedly denied France its remaining 104 fishing licences, as it demands French fisherman prove they have previously used local waters.
France had outlined a deadline for today, in hopes of securing the permits – before it will resort to blocking ports and curbing British trade.
The government has asked French fisherman to prove they have fished four days during to period between 2012 and 2016, The Telegraph reported.
The dispute over the remaining licences, which form part of the final Brexit Agreement, has eroded the UK’s relationship with its closest European neighbour.
More than 100 boats have been unable to prove their historic fishing activity, which has left several small fisheries in the lurch.
“We have obtained 1,004 licences. We are still waiting for 104… This is not anecdotal, it is crucial: these are fishermen, families. One job at sea means four jobs on land,” French maritime minister Annick Giradin said.
However, a potential deal is on the horizon which could ease tensions in allowing 38 French and two Belgian boats to qualify for British waters.
The agreement on ‘direct replacement vessels’, if completed, would allow French fisherman to transfer their historic fishing rights to new boats.