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Brexit fishing row: Liz Truss accuses France of ‘unwarranted threats’ – politics live | Politics









France’s seafood sector is divided over government sanctions on British trawlers due to start on Tuesday, with processing companies warning they will cost jobs but fishers insisting that after 10 months waiting for UK permits, tough action is needed.

The Guardian’s Jon Henley reports that Paris has said it could ban British trawlers from unloading in French ports, carry out extra licence checks on boats, tighten checks on trucks and reinforce customs and hygiene controls unless London grants more licences to fish in UK waters.

But the head of the fish wholesale association in Boulogne, France’s largest fishing port, said the planned measures were “excessive” and “disproportionate”, warning they risked doing more harm to the sector overall than good.

The British foreign secretary, Liz Truss, said on Monday France had 48 hours to back down or the UK would begin dispute talks. President Emmanuel Macron said the ball was in Britain’s court and that France had tabled concrete de-escalation proposals.








Here’s a fuller report on events in Northern Ireland from the Guardian’s Lisa O’Carroll:

Unionist leaders have condemned the “thuggery” and “stupid actions” behind this morning’s petrol bombing of a double decker bus in Northern Ireland fuelling fears of a new wave of loyalist violence linked to opposition to the Brexit protocol.

The BBC in Northern Ireland reported that loyalists had claimed the hijacking, saying it was to coincide with a deadline set by the DUP to resolve issues around the NI protocol.

The DUP leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson ,moved to head off further violence, warning that “thuggery and terrorism will do nothing to remove the NI protocol” and “violence has no place” in Northern Ireland.

“There was never any justification for people with guns on our streets and damaging property – there never will be,” he added.

Doug Beattie, the head of the Ulster Unionist party, described the dawn attack that left the bus driver “shaken” as the “utterly disgraceful, depressing and stupid actions of thugs and criminals”.

He asked in a tweet: “In what way does this help address issues concerning the protocol, it simply hurts their own community.”

The shadow Northern Ireland secretary, Louise Haigh, described the attack as “ utterly reprehensible”, adding: “There is no place for these sickening acts of violence and intimidation.”

Doug Beattie
(@BeattieDoug)

Utterly disgraceful, depressing and stupid actions of thugs and criminals.

In what way does this help address issues concerning the protocol, it simply hurts their own community. Wise up…… 😡 https://t.co/4i2FjrvFSg


November 1, 2021

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A senior official in Northern Ireland’s Department of Health has admitted that health waiting lists have spiralled “out of control” in documents provided for a landmark case.

In one testimony seen by the Guardian, the offical said the delays were “extremely regrettable” but that the health minister had repeatedly said a significant increase in funding was necessary to make a return to acceptable levels, the Guardian’s Lisa O’Carroll reports.

“While doctors, nurses, other health professionals and managers have made every effort to ensure that any negative impact on patients has been kept to a minimum, waiting times have continued to grow to a level where many believe that they are now out of control,” he added.

Mark Dayan, policy analyst at the health services thinktank, the Nuffield Trust, said that Northern Ireland’s waiting lists began to “spiral to more and more unacceptably poor levels relative to the rest of the UK” 10 years ago.

He said “one year-plus waits” were “almost unheard of” in England before Covid, but had been “common in Northern Ireland”. Out of an estimated 460,000 on a waiting list, 250,000 had been on it for more than a year, he said.

Two landmark cases will be heard in December and January featuring the Northern Ireland health minister, Robin Swann, the UK chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and the health secretary, Savid Javid, as defendants.

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The DUP leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, has denounced the bus attack, saying “violence has no place” in Northern Ireland.

In a strong condemnation aimed at heading off any further unrest, he said “thuggery and terrorism will do nothing to remove the NI protocol”.

He tweeted:

Jeffrey Donaldson MP
(@J_Donaldson_MP)

There was never any justification for people with guns on our streets and damaging property – there never will be. Thuggery & terrorism will do nothing to remove the NI Protocol. Political action has secured progress and must be allowed to continue. Violence has no place in this. https://t.co/dHrPW7m1dL


November 1, 2021

Updated








Fears of a new wave of violence in Northern Ireland linked to loyalist opposition to the Brexit protocol were prompted today after a double-decker bus was hijacked and set on fire in a town close to Belfast.

The incident happened in Newtownards at dawn, with local press reporting the men cited the Northern Ireland protocol during the attack, raising concerns it may be linked to today’s date of 1 November.

The Democratic Unionist party had given a deadline of the end of October for substantial changes to the Northern Ireland protocol to be agreed with the EU. A PSNI spokesperson said:


At approximately 6.30am, two masked and armed men boarded the bus and poured fuel over the vehicle before setting it alight. The driver managed to get off the bus unharmed but has been left badly shaken by the incident.

Negotiations between the UK and the EU aimed at reaching a solution to the other dispute over the Brexit arrangements are entering their third week, with the UK’s Brexit negotiator, Lord Frost, still threatening to trigger article 16 if the substantial gap in positions is not bridged.

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Fishing row rumbles on

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