The UK and France have agreed to work together over the “next few hours and days” to put an end to ongoing fishing.
Tension escalated last week over the lack of post-Brexit permits issued to French fishing vessels from the UK.
It led to threats from France that it could block its ports on British ships in retaliation.
But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron have decided to work to find a solution.
The couple held an informal meeting in Rome where the leaders of the richest economies in the world, the G20, are discussing.
According to French officials, Johnson and Macron said they “will work to find a solution to the problem”.
A statement from the Elysée states that the two leaders “have agreed to continue talks in the next few hours and days regarding fishing licenses”.
But he also said that Macron wanted to “continue the dialogue on the basis of rigor, seriousness and respect”, adding: “The French president told his counterpart of the need to respect the commitments made jointly by the UK and the EU in the Brexit agreement.. “
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Although fishing is a small part of the British and French economy, it played an important political role during Brexit.
But this particular discussion began after a British fishing boat was hijacked by France and another was fined during checks off Le Havre on Thursday.
Since then, the broader question has arisen of how many licenses the UK grants France after Brexit to fish in British waters.
France was angered by the UK and Jersey’s decision last month to deny fishing licenses to dozens of French boats and argued that this violated the Brexit deal.
He then warned that next week he will prevent British boats from landing their catch in some French ports and tighten controls on British boats and trucks if the fishing license dispute is not resolved by Tuesday.
France also said it could cut electricity supplies to Jersey, a British Crown dependency, as previously threatened in May.
Speaking on Saturday, Johnson acknowledged that there was “turbulence” in the UK’s relations with France, but insisted that the things that united the two countries were more important than their divisions.
However, on Twitter, his Brexit minister Lord Frost said on Saturday that the government is “actively considering” initiating a legal process against France under the Brexit deal, following the “threats”.
He tweeted: “We will continue to speak constructively to try to resolve all the differences between us and urge the EU and France to step back from the rhetoric and actions that make this more difficult.”
On Sunday, the French minister for Europe, Clément Beaune, responded to Lord Frost, saying that France had “negotiated patiently and constructively for 10 months”.
He dismissed claims that there had been technical problems that led to the problems, saying, “It’s not a technical problem, it’s a political choice and a violation of the [Brexit deal]. “
He added: “A friend, ally and responsible partner should keep their word and comply with legal commitments.”
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