French president Emmanuel Macron has told Boris Johnson to “respect the rules” amid a row over fishing licences, according to a French official.
Though the French presidential official told reporters at the G20 summit today that “the goal for both the president and the prime minister was to work towards de-escalation” – Macron has said that “the ball is in Britain’s court”.
The French president added: “If the British make no movement, the measures of November 2 will have to be put in place.”
France has threatened the UK with a fishing boat ban from some of its ports and tougher customs checks on lorries ferrying in British goods from Tuesday.
Despite reports that the pair had resolved the squabble, Downing Street later denied that a resolution had been reached, squandering hopes that the tensions would soon de-escalate.
The UK has warned that the threats are in breach of the post-Brexit Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) that the country tabled with the European Union.
Which saw Johnson refuse to rule out triggering a trade dispute action against France next week, leading to the prime minister telling Sky News on Saturday: “If there is a breach of the treaty or we think there is a breach of the treaty then we will do what is necessary to protect British interests.”
France’s Europe minister Clement Beaune took to Twitter to insist that the move by Macron would be “fully in line” with the TCA.
The saga erupted in September when dozens of French vessels were denied post-Brexit fishing licences for UK and Jersey waters, which has choked smaller French fisheries.
The Jersey Fishermen’s Association (JFA) today urged the government to bar all vessels from its fishing areas and demanded the declassification of its waters be removed.
The UK has been accused of not staying true to its post-Brexit agreement with its EU neighbour. “We won’t let the British wipe their feet on the Brexit agreement,” Macron’s spokesperson said yesterday.