France Promises ‘Law Of Jungle’ And says “UK Fishermen Face Brexit Ban. Paris will “support” its fishermen in the event of a hard Brexit, foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said as he issued a warning to Britain”.
Just like the law as it is applied in Paris by teargas?
The European Commission warned on Thursday that the risk of a no-deal exit had increased this month, as Theresa May struggles to get her withdrawal agreement through parliament. And Mr Le Drian, who is also in charge of European affairs, told the French newspaper Ouest-France that “Without an accord, we will need to immediately engage in a negotiation to extend until at least the end of this year the existing [fisheries] policy. Otherwise, it will be the law of the jungle at sea. Which is in nobody’s interest. He said “We will support [French] fishermen. Every effort will be made in order to maintain the industry’s economic equilibrium, pending the necessary renegotiation [of the policy].
“Brexit’s effect on fisheries is particularly important to France as “around 20 per cent of the total French catch comes from British waters’.” Mr Drian added a no-deal exit also meant British fishermen would no longer have access to “community waters”. A British exit with no deal would automatically bar British boats from fishing in EU waters and EU boats from fishing off Britain.
Mr Drian said: “The European Commission was asked to look into two points: maintaining existing reciprocal access to fishing zones, and ensuring that the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is able to respond to urgent challenges.”
The EU’s executive proposed contingency plans for fishing in the event of a no-deal at the end of January, saying EU fisherman barred from British waters could receive compensation. The Commission said in a statement “This will help off-set some of the impact of a sudden closure of UK waters to EU fishing vessels in a no-deal scenario.”
The other proposal would allow Britain access to EU fishing waters until the end of 2019, in return for Britain allowing EU fishermen into its waters. This proposal is limited to 2019”the Commission said, adding it would strive to agree the two proposals with the European Parliament and the European Council and put them in place before the March 29 Brexit deadline”.
Brussels has stressed that its no-deal preparations must be unilateral, time-limited and only seek to reduce the most damaging disruptions that would be caused by the worst-case Brexit scenario. Gérard Romiti, president of France’s national committee for fishermen, warned last month that the prospect of a “hard Brexit” had sparked widespread “panic” among French fishermen. “The consequences of a no-deal scenario are likely to be catastrophic if not devastating for the industry, on both the upstream and the downstream” he said in a letter addressed to the French government.
The Commission’s Vice President Frans Timmermans said on Thursday that the risk of the UK leaving the EU next month without a deal had increased in the last couple of weeks.
For the uninformed French minister, “WTO members in the Negotiating Group on Rules held their first cluster of fisheries subsidies meetings for the year on 14-18 January. Some members indicated they were working on proposing new draft texts covering certain areas of fisheries subsidies disciplines that WTO members had committed to agree by end-2019”. That’s what will settle his “war of the jungle at sea”!