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UK, France at war over post-Brexit fishing rights

Saeed Pourreza
Press TV, Dover

To fish or not to fish is at the center of an escalating row between France and Britain row after France seized one British trawler and fined another for not playing by the new rules.

The UK used to be part of the EU's common fisheries policy that allowed all European fishing boats equal access to these waters. But everything changed after Brexit. Now EU and UK vessels need licenses to fish in each other's territorial waters. Not only that, they have to prove they have fished there in the past.

To make things more complicated, the self-governing British territories of Jersey and Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, issue their own licenses. France accuses the UK of granting a small number of licenses it is entitled to. Britain denies that.

And on this side of the channel, it is all about reminding British voters of the perks of Brexit. France says the UK cannot be seen benefiting from Brexit.

The French have threatened to prevent British vessels from docking at their ports if the issue is not resolved soon, against Britain's threats of legal action.

For now, though, the two sides seem to have hit the pause button on tit-for-tat measures. Key talks are set for later this week, yet experts say the risk of further escalation remains.

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