PM warns that the UK could spark an EU spat over a fisheries dispute with France.
On Saturday, Britain’s Boris Johnson told EU chief Ursula Von Der Leyen that French threats over fishing were “absolutely wrong,” as he hinted at the possibility of using a Brexit dispute tool for the first time.
She, for one, tweeted that the European Commission was “intensely engaging for finding solutions” on both the fishing dispute and a separate dispute with Brussels over the Northern Ireland Brexit accord.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “expressed his worries about the language from the French government in recent days over the issue of fishing licenses” during talks on the margins of the G20 in Rome, according to his office.
“The French threats are utterly unreasonable and do not appear to be compatible” with a treaty controlling Britain’s exit from the European Union, Johnson said.
France is furious that the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey have refused to provide fishing licenses to some French boats after Brexit.
France has warned that unless licenses are granted, UK boats will be prohibited from offloading their catches at French ports beginning next week, and all products imported from the UK will be subject to inspection.
Johnson previously stated that in response to the deal, he has not ruled out using an as-yet-untested dispute resolution mechanism available under the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU.
“Of course not,” Johnson said on Sky News in Rome, after Britain warned on Friday that it would impose extra checks on all EU fishing boats.
Johnson, on the other hand, has emphasized his close personal ties with French President Emmanuel Macron, and their body language at the G20 conference showed amicable relations.
Johnson and Macron exchanged friendly pats on the back at a side meeting on Iran with US and German leaders on Saturday.
Johnson gave Macron a mock-combative fist bump as they arrived for the leaders’ “family photo” at the outset of the meeting, though they did not appear to speak to one another.
At some point over the weekend, we’ll have a little chat.
“I believe that cooperation between the European allies and Emmanuel Macron is something that everyone wants to see,” Johnson remarked.
Meanwhile, Macron claimed that the issue was putting Britain’s “credibility” on the line, accusing London of disrespecting the Brexit deal reached after years of arduous negotiations.
“When you spend years negotiating a treaty and then do the exact opposite of what was determined on the areas that suit, it’s a waste of time. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.