France Warns U.K. of ‘Retaliation’ in Post-Brexit Banking Rules
France is threatening to block regulations that would allow the U.K. to continue operating financial regulations in Europe if the country doesn’t respect its Brexit commitments on fishing.
“The U.K. must deliver licenses, authorization to access their waters for fishing, that’s the deal,” French Junior Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune told BFM Business TV Tuesday.
If the U.K. doesn’t provide access to its waters to the fishing industry as per the Brexit deal, Beaune said “retaliation measures” will be adopted in other sectors, including “financial services.”
As long as commitments aren’t met on fishing, “we will give none,” said Beaune. “It is quid pro quo.”
The financial sector was left out of the Brexit deal signed last year, meaning that financial firms aren’t able to work in the European Union like they do in the U.K. In March, both sides agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding on a deal for financial services, but they haven’t been able to obtain the so-called “equivalence” for full market access.
France has been calling for the European Union to accelerate the implementation of the Brexit deal, after French fishermen protested last week at the Boulogne-sur-Mer harbor to secure access to U.K. waters. They blocked seafood-carrying trucks coming from Britain, saying they’ve seen delays in the attribution of licenses to fish in U.K. waters. British authorities have denied that’s happened, and called the blockades unjustified.
On Monday, the French government pledged 100 million euros ($121 million) to support fishermen in northern France hurt by Brexit, an aid package approved by the European Commission, and said that 21 new licenses for French fishermen to access U.K. waters would be delivered.