This rise in the UK-France fishing spat has started to inspire memes now. The dispute was prevalent since Brexit but intensified over time. Both countries have been accusing and threatening each other regarding fishing in their waters, which is sounding quite funny to the general public. These European giants have made history raising hell on Earth so it is surprising for the public to see them fighting over fish. The meme is mocking these powerful countries for their inability to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
Both have been facing growing calls regularly to sort out their differences as soon as possible.
UK-France Fishing Spat Starts Over Vague Brexit Rules
The UK-France fishing spat has arisen over the implementation of post-Brexit fishing rules. Both claim that the other has breached the trade agreement that the UK signed with European Union before leaving it. The fishing industry might be small but it remains symbolic for many maritime nations like the UK and France. The majority of maritime nation’s state activities involve fishing, trading, and war.
Brexit has relieved the UK from the economic rules of the EU, which means that it can control who fishes in its waters and who doesn’t. France has claimed that the UK has denied permits to some of its boats, which have been fishing in those waters before. Under the Brexit deal, UK and EU agreed that they would give the permits to those boats, which could prove that they have fished there for years. However, it is not clear why there are disagreements on how much evidence is needed.
UK has said it has given permits to 98% of EU boats but a handful of French boats could not provide complete paperwork.
The Escalation in The Channel Islands
By the end of October, the UK-France fishing spat escalated, starting with France accusing a Scottish dredge of operating without a license in Le Havre. Then it captured the captain and told him to face a hearing next year. France threatened the UK to grant permits otherwise it will block British boats from entering the English Channel and impose tight security checks on UK boats and trucks. Moreover, France also warned that it may restrict energy supplies to the Channel Islands. Even though the archipelago contains British dependencies like Jersey and Guernsey, it heavily depends on France for electricity.
French Prime Minister, Jean Castex urged the EU to support France in this matter because he wanted to show the world that leaving the EU was more damaging than staying in it. President Emmanuel Macron also backed France’s stance and said that the UK was hurting its reputation with this fishing dispute. Macron added that the UK needed to respect the word once given. UK’s PM Boris Johnson on the other hand claimed that France was just deviating from the real concern of climate crises by bringing up the fishing issue.
French Minister Tries to Rally EU Against UK
According to the latest reports, the French minister of fisheries has tried to line up EU nations against Johnson’s stance. However, the majority have refused to pick a fight with Britain at the moment. The minister, Annick Girardin heavily criticized the UK for “failing to comply with Brexit trade deal” and called for Johnson to reverse his decision of leaving the EU. Others expressed concern that Girardin was trying to drag them into doing France’s dirty work which can result in a huge diplomatic collapse.
Macron on the other hand ensured that his nation will back down in the UK-France fishing spat to keep a close defense partnership. French officials said that European governments need the military power of the UK if they want to reduce dependency on the US, especially after the controversial Aukus deal. France has reportedly mentioned that it cannot rely on Italy, Spain, and Germany, and there would be no defense in the EU without the British.