The decision to allow only a few applications for small boats worsens the relationship between Paris and London.
The UK faces the risk of further deteriorating relations with Paris on Tuesday after announcing its decision to allow only a handful of French boats to fish in coastal waters under the terms of the withdrawal agreement.
As part of the divorce agreement between the EU and the UK, it was agreed that EU vessels would be allowed to fish within 6 to 12 nautical miles of the UK.
After receiving 87 requests from the French government this year, the UK government announced that only 12 small boats less than 12 meters in length would be allowed to fish, mainly in the English and Welsh coasts.
Officials said the decision was made after a thorough investigation, including data provided by small fishing vessels, location data and fish landing records.
Under the agreement the boats will be able to demonstrate fishing in the 6 to 12 nautical-mile zone at least once every four years for the five years between 2012 and 2016.
The decision to grant only one of the seven French requests for small boats to access British coastal waters risks further aggravating the relationship between London and Paris.Australian Submarine Agreement.
Annie Girardin, Minister of French Maritime Affairs, condemned the British decision. “The British refuse to use the terms of the Brexit agreement, even though we worked together,” he said in a statement on Tuesday evening. “I have only one thing on the agenda: to obtain concrete licenses for our fishermen as provided in the agreement. French fishing should not be taken hostage by the British for political purposes.
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