Furious social media users have taken to Facebook to express their anger at threats made by French fishermen to the British amid a heated row over UK waters that has seen EU boats excluded for the first time in decades. One commenter said: “This is the real reason they didn’t want us to leave because they never had to ask they just took what they wanted now it’s a different matter!” A second said: “Tell the french fisherman to get stuffed.”
Another added: “Just the sort of thing dictators would do selfish Instead of blaming them selves and their governments for over fishing there own waters but we won’t take laying down.”
A fourth added: “It’s best if we deploy the navy to keep our boat’s safe.”
Another said: “Brussels can go sling its hook into their own waters. And leave ours the hell alone!”
A sixth added: “Oh dear what a shame. Touch our boats and see what you get in return.”
It comes as the French government announced officials in Guernsey had “temporally suspended” access to the island’s waters by French vessels.
The decision sparked uproar, with French captains threatening to set alight British boats landing their fish on the Continent.
But the lockout looks set to continue despite a political agreement for renewed access between London and Paris.
France’s EU affairs minister Amelie de Montchalin on Tuesday said they should be able to access the waters around Guernsey by the end of the week as bureaucrats work to implement the deal.
She said: “We have a diplomatic agreement. We received a formal letter from Her Majesty.
“We have a political agreement… now we are in implementation.”
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Guernsey, like the other Channel Islands, is a self-governing dependency of the British crown, and was never part of the European Union like the UK.
The London Fisheries Convention, which gave French vessels access, ended on January 31, with the French government branding the new rules “disrespectful”.
Under the newly-minted arrangements, the EU Commission has “pre-validated a list of boats” that can continue fishing in Guernsey,” according to Ms Montchalin.
She added: “We have an agreement with Guernsey that they do not collect any money, that it will be without costs.
“I alerted the commissioners that this subject is not symbolic, that it is key for confidence in future negotiations.”
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week has dismissed EU demands for concessions over fishing.
Under his plan, the UK will become an independent coastal state from the end of the year.
The UK, like Norway and Iceland, will have annual negotiations with the EU on access to waters.