Facts show UK’s generosity to France as Macron threatens the UK.

Graham Charles Lear
5 min readOct 3, 2021


President Macron’s French government continues to threaten the UK with blockades and trade sanctions over fishing rights and is attempting to persuade all other EU countries to join him.

However, the UK has issued licences to 1,700 EU boats to fish in UK waters. And 117 of these can now sail up to 6 miles from the UK coast to take British fish. Since 01 January 2021, almost 1,700 licences have been issued to EU27 fishing vessels to enter British waters (within 200 nautical miles). 117 of these are able to sail up to six miles from the United Kingdom’s shores to ply their trade, with more expected soon.

Of the 1,700 EU27 vessels, some are the notorious ‘EU factory ships’ which are alleged to cause major damage to fishing stocks and to the marine environment by ‘hoovering up’ everything from the sea bed.

These are the countries that can now fish in our waters

  • FRANCE 44%
  • Ireland 22%
  • Netherlands 11%
  • Denmark 7%
  • Spain 5%
  • Belgium 4%
  • Germany 3%
  • Portugal 3%
  • Sweden 1%

A UK Government spokesperson said THE OTHER DAY

“The government has this year issued a large number of licences to EU vessels seeking to fish in our exclusive economic zone (12–200 nautical mile zone) and our territorial sea (6–12 nautical mile zone). Our approach has been reasonable and fully in line with our commitments in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

If you notice France has the largest fleet fishing in our waters yet The French is still complaining, despite all of this. One of the many complaints made by President Macron and his government since Brexit has been that the UK is deliberately ‘holding up’ the issuing of licences to French fishing boats to fish in British waters.

France has in fact UK licences for FIVE TIMES the tonnage of the UK’s ENTIRE coastal and offshore Navy fleet.

The UK’s generosity to France

  • France has UK licences for boats with five times the tonnage of the Royal Navy’s coastal & offshore fleet
  • France’s fishing fleet, by tonnage, is bigger than all the Royal Navy’s Destroyers combined
  • It is bigger than all the Royal Navy’s Frigates combined
  • France has been given UK licences which are more than all other continental EU countries combined
  • The French now have almost four times as many UK fishing licences as the Dutch
  • They have over six times as many as the Danish
  • Over eight times as many as the Spanish
  • Over 11 times as many as the Belgians
  • And around 15 times as many as the Germans and Portuguese

The French are still complaining, despite all of this

One of the many complaints made by President Macron and his government since Brexit has been that the UK is deliberately ‘holding up’ the issuing of licences to French fishing boats to fish in British waters. In fact, analysis shows that 738 licences have been issued to French vessels in the past nine months. This is 44% of the entire EU27 total.

Only 35 small vessels from the entire EU27 fleet have been refused licences — and this is only in relation to the 6–12 nautical miles of territorial waters off the British coast. The reason is that these vessels were unable to prove they had been fishing that close to the UK’s coastline while the UK was still a member of the EU. If they provide the appropriate paperwork, they too will be granted licences.

The latest figures released by the Government’s Marine Management Organisation last week has revealed the true extent of the generosity extended by the United Kingdom to the EU — and to France in particular — over the right to fish in UK waters. Only a tiny fraction of the total licence applications have not yet been approved. This is because the handful of French vessels involved were unable to give any proof that they had been fishing in UK waters pre-Brexit, despite the Government granting them an extension to do so. Indeed, the Government has been even more generous. Nine months after Brexit, the Marine Management Organisation has said that it will continue to consider applications. That is how generous we have been.

For centuries Great Britain has had a worldwide reputation as a maritime nation. One of the benefits of Brexit was supposed to have been the return of control of our own waters to their rightful place. It is deeply regrettable that this has not happened, thanks to the onerous demands from the EU and in particular the French.

Brexit is already proving successful on many levels but there are two very notable exceptions. One is the effective partitioning of the UK by cutting off Northern Ireland from full UK sovereignty and placing it firmly under the yoke of the EU and its legal framework, and the other is what can only be described as the sell-out of the British fishing community.

With the United Kingdom once again demonstrating its global reach, and with its new aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth II asserting the right under international law to sail through the South China Sea, I suggest that Lord Frost might wish to put the plight of British fishermen in the seas around our own coast somewhat further up his list of priorities. If the Government were to do this, we suspect it might go down well with voters across the country, not only in our embattled coastal communities.

Never try to appease a bully

History tells us, and most people’s everyday experiences support this, that the only way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him or her.

It is now well over five years since the British people voted to leave the European Union and yet it seems that there is no end to the EU’s vindictive and bullying ways towards Brexit Britain. Theresa May’s government, unfortunately, pursued a policy of appeasement at every level and when you give in to a bully you merely enable him. Events have proved this once again.

The latest storm in a tasse de thé from Monsieur Macron is over the denial of a very small number of licences to French boats to fish in UK waters. There is no question that the UK’s maritime agency has acted efficiently in handing out almost 1,700 licences to EU fishing vessels. If the French are incapable of making correct applications in over nine months, then it is hardly the UK that is responsible. For President Macron’s government now to be amassing EU-wide support for trade sanctions to be threatened against the United Kingdom over such a trivial matter of French making is not only absurd, but it is also completely unacceptable and must be rebuffed immediately.

To France, I would say this, What god gives with one hand God can take away with his other hand. So shut the f**k up or you might find every licence rescinded in the future when it comes to renewing them. Never forget that the fishing deal is only valid for five years, then it's gloves off.

Sources: UK Dept for the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) | UK Marine Management Organisation ]



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.