Wednesday, October 7, 2020

"French fishermen on tenterhooks as Brexit talks drag on"

From AFP via Yahoo Finance, October 7:

In the dead of night, a French trawler cuts through the Channel's pitch-black waters on a hunt for cuttlefish that takes captain Pierre Lepretre and his crew across British lines.

For decades French fishermen have cast a wide net across the strait that acts as a natural border between Britain and France.

But as the clock ticks down to December 31, when Britain's divorce from the EU becomes complete, they fear that London's promise to "take back control" of its territorial waters could leave them high and dry.

For Lepretre, whose UK catch makes up 70-80 percent of his income, being barred from British fishing grounds would spell ruin.

"If we can no longer go to the English side we'll go bankrupt," the fisherman  said as he counted his morning's catch: 90 kilos (200 pounds) of cuttlefish, 15 kilos of squid and 20 kilos each of red snapper and mackerel.

His boat is based in Boulogne-sur-Mer, about 40 minutes from the maritime border.

Grievances over fishing rights were one of the driving forces in the 2016 Brexit campaign, with British fishermen complaining of EU neighbours with more generous quotas plundering the country's stocks.

Within hours of Britain leaving the EU on January 31 this year, French fishermen found themselves barred from waters around the British Channel island of Guernsey -- a spat that lasted a week....


September 30:
"Britain 'offers the EU a last minute concession on fishing' to try to break post-Brexit trade talks deadlock..."