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Post-Brexit fishing row

Date: 01 November 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


France has threatened to stop British boats from landing if a dispute between the countries is not resolved at the earliest.



The disputes are regarding the post-Brexit fishing rights. They were one of the concerning aspects during the post-Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK.



  • UK has become an independent coast state post exiting from Brexit. The fishing industry now wants greater access to fishing grounds it shares with EU.

  • The EU has opposed the move strongly. The fishing industry in UK aims to increase its economic contribution in national economy.


Start of clash

  • France recently impounded a fishing vessel belonging to UK for illegally fishing in its waters. The UK has threatened to take retaliatory action.

  • France has accused Britain of not granting enough licenses to French fishing boats to operate in its water. Britain has refuted the allegations.

  • France is planning to put sanctions including extra customs checks on British goods from November 2.


Pre-Brexit fishing rights

  • The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) of EU used to govern fisheries in the UK. The rules allowed member countries to fish in the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of all the other members.

  • EU works as a bloc and not individual country. It fixes the volume of fish from each species that can be caught from the combined EEZs of its members.

  • The CFP policy had allowed fishing vessels from member countries to visit British waters for fishing. These waters are considered to host one of the richest marine resources.


Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

EEZ is a part of the sea that stretches up to 200 nautical miles from a nation’s coast, excluding its territorial waters


Reasons for current problems

During the Brexit negotiations, enough focus was no given to fishing aspect of trade. It was felt that other aspects were more important than fishing.