London: Fresh tensions erupted between Britain and France over post-Brexit fishing rights after the UK granted just 12 licences from 47 bids for smaller vessels to fish in its territorial waters.
French Sea Minister Annick Girardin reportedly said, “French fishing must not be taken hostage by the British for political ends.”
“It is a new refusal of the British to apply the conditions of the Brexit accord despite all the work undertaken together,” a French newspaper quoted Girardin as saying.
“I have only one watchword; to obtain definitive licences for our fishermen as the accord foresees.”
The UK said it would consider further evidence to support remaining bids, the BBC reported.
Fishing was one of the most contentious issues in the post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and the EU, and it continues to be a source of tension.
Both sides have substantial bargaining chips: many European boats have traditionally relied on fishing in British waters, while many British companies rely on selling their catch in European markets.