Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

On Tuesday, Mr Johnson spoke at a press conference as the two-day Cop26 summit nears its end, to reporters: “Since you are asking whether Britain has changed its position … on the fisheries issue, the answer is no.”

It is understood that Mr Macron sought a one-on-one meeting with Mr Johnson on Monday, but their team was unable to find a mutually appropriate time. The French president left Glasgow early while the leadership meeting was still going on, but Mr Johnson declined on Tuesday night to say whether he thought it was a prank.

In an attempt to stay focused on tackling climate change, the prime minister said the fishing line was “really vanishingly indifferent” in comparison. He added: “We work very, very closely with our French friends and partners on the things that matter most to the people of the world – and that is tackling climate change, reducing CO2.”

Technical discussions on the rejected fishing licenses continue between EU and British officials on Wednesday, with France demanding answers on when 14 French vessels will receive permits.

A spokesman for the European Commission said: “It is positive and reassuring to see contacts aimed at a positive solution.”

Annick Girardin, France’s maritime minister, also signaled that “boat-by-boat” discussions, which have been going on for some months, were approaching the finish line, with as few as 27 left to take a stand.

On Tuesday, she told French MPs that the British response to French demands for 14 licenses in British coastal waters should be delivered at a “closing meeting” on Wednesday and urged the Jersey authorities to go “very fast” in issuing 13 permits.

It happened as Jersey was preparing to speed up approvals of an additional “five or six” French permits, which are expected to be completed this week, on top of 49 additional temporary licenses granted last week.

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By Victor

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