France will announce possible sanctions over energy prices and trade “by the end of the week” in its fisheries dispute with the UK, the government spokesman said on Wednesday.
France last month vehemently protested the decision by the United Kingdom and the Channel Island of Jersey to refuse dozens of French fishing boats license to operate in their territorial waters. Paris called the move “unacceptable”.
France sees the restrictions as a breach of the post-Brexit agreement signed by the British government when it left the European Union.
“We are of course able to impose sanctions if the agreement is not complied with,” said French government spokesman Gabriel Attal. “There are several types of sanctions that are possible: energy prices, access to (French) ports, tariff issues.”
Jersey, just 14 miles (22 kilometers) off the French coast, is a British Crown dependency outside the United Kingdom. As such it has its own powers in relation to who may fish in its territorial waters.
Attal said the sanctions would come into effect in November if no agreement was reached with the UK and Jersey.
France has asked its European Union partners to stand united in the dispute and urged the 27-nation bloc to prepare retaliatory measures.
A senior French official declined to say on Wednesday whether French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss the issue with his counterparts at an EU summit Thursday and Friday in Brussels. He spoke anonymously, in accordance with the usual practice of the French Presidency.
Earlier this month, France and 10 other EU nations issued a joint statement denouncing the UK’s stance on fishing licences.