Fishing: Ben Habib says relationship with France is ‘unbalanced’
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Former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib insisted the UK and France did not have a very balanced relationship. While speaking to TalkRadio host Julia Hartley-Brewer, he insisted France was attempting to “have its cake and eat it.” He added France fails to stop illegal immigrants reaching the UK despite the UK’S payment to prevent this.
He also said, they then enter the UK waters and demand to have access to the UK’s fishing resources.
Mr Habib said: “What is extraordinary is that we have handed out 1,700 fishing licences to EU member states.
“44 percent of those have gone to the French and what they are debating now is a measly 35 licences.
“That is what they are upset about.”
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Ms Hartley-Brewer added the French should have been aware these sort of restrictions were coming.
She said: “To be fair, to those 35 fishermen on the boats that would be their livelihood.
“They have been used to fishing there but the reality is that we knew this was coming.
“One of the whole points about Brexit was the British Government not having all of their waters basically fished by EU fishermen.
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“They knew this was coming, why is everyone surprised by this?”
Mr Habib admitted while it was frustrating to hear complaints from the French fisherman, the French Government were fighting well for their cause.
Mr Habib replied: “We see this from a British perspective and it is very annoying to listen to their complaints.
“This is when they have got phenomenal access to our waters.
“If you turn the coin on its head and look at it from their perspective they are doing a phenomenal job for their own fisherman.
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“They have got their cake and now they want to eat it.
“They are driving that message home to the UK on a repeated basis.
“When you look at the relationship between the UK and France on the whole, what we have got here is us paying £54 million a year not to send immigrants to the UK.
“Then sending illegal immigrants over anyway and then coming to our waters and then helping themselves to our fish.
“It is perhaps the unbalanced international relationship between two countries.”
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