Boris set to cave to Marcon: UK capitulates in Brexit fishing row after Frances threats

Brexit: France hails Guernsey decision on fishing licences

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Britain is thought to be preparing to alter how it implements the Brexit deal in order to give more licences to French fishermen. Environment Secretary George Eustice is planning to offer to let licences earmarked for certain vessels be transitioned to “replacement boats”.

Hopes of a breakthrough on the issue come just days before Mr Macron’s latest deadline for progress to be made on the matter.

France has for months accused the UK of failing to honour its commitments under the EU trade deal by issuing licences to those with historical access to British waters.

It said if more permits were not granted by December 10 it would take matters into its own hands, blocking ports and increasing customs checks on goods travelling to the UK.

The retaliatory action would risk causing chaos in the weeks leading up to Christmas, with many presents planned to be gifted on December 25 stuck on the continent.

Ministers also argue the actions would break international law.

A Government spokesman said: “Our approach on fisheries licensing has been reasonable and fully in line with our commitments.

“Overall, we have licensed nearly 1,700 EU vessels.

“We will continue to consider evidence in support of the remaining applications and discussions will continue with the European Commission this week.”

EU boats must demonstrate they fished in UK waters each year between 2012 and 2016 to be granted a licence.

However, Britain is set to make concessions to France tomorrow by offering to give licences to fishermen even if they have changed vessels since then according to The Telegraph.

If the fisheries can prove their current vessel replaced one that historically used UK waters they will be granted a licence.

The Government hopes the change of approach will meet demands from Mr Macron for a “significant” gesture on fishing by Friday’s deadline.

Further applications made for access to UK coastal waters will still be accepted say UK officials trying to ease tensions.

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Mr Macron has picked a fight not only with Britain over the licences but also with the Channel Islands, accusing Jersey and Guernsey of also failing to issue correct licences under a similar deal struck with them.

It is hoped a further 49 permanent fishing licences issued last month will appease Paris.

Britain’s eagerness to find a solution in the row comes despite deteriorating relations with Mr Macron’s government.

Last week it was reported the French President has referred to Mr Johnson as “a clown”.

He also intervened in Brexit negotiations over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The President told Brussels not to cave to the British demands, calling talks a matter of “war or peace”.

A senior Government source said: “The Prime Minister continues to be a staunch and public advocate for the strength of the UK-French relationship.

“Our approach will not change even if we have to wait until the other side of the French presidential election for a change of tone.”

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