France Detains British Trawler Amid Intense Fishing Row
The French government has given a verbal warning to a British trawler and detained another, as the feud over post-Brexit fishing rights continues.
On Wednesday, October 27, checks took place off Le Havre, which resulted in two English ships being fined.
Fishermen in France have contested whether the terms of the Brexit agreement are being met, claiming they have been issued with half the amount of licenses they were supposed to, to be able to fish in British waters.
The first did not ‘comply spontaneously’ and was given a verbal warning, while the other was led to the judicial authority for not having a licence to fish, according to a tweet by Minister of the French maritime, Annick Girardin, Sky News reports.
Last month, France claims it saw dozens of their fishing boats licences refused by the UK and the Channel Island, therefore preventing them to operate in territorial waters.
France subsequently protested the decision, feeling the UK had contradicted the agreement it signed when it left the EU as part of the post-Brexit deal.
If the disagreement is not resolved, France has threatened further sanctions.
From November 2, France has warned British vessels may be subject to routine security checks; some French ports may be off limits to British fishing vessels; hygiene controls and customs will be heavily reinforced; and lorries going to or from the UK will have rules implemented further onto them, too.
Gabriel Attal, a spokesperson for the French government, said sanctions could include not just access to ports and customs, but also possible tariffs on energy.
In response, Lord Frost, the minister for Brexit, said:
It is very disappointing that France has felt it necessary to make threats late this evening against the UK fishing industry and seemingly traders more broadly.
As we have had no formal communication from the French government on this matter we will be seeking urgent clarification of their plans. We will consider what further action is necessary in that light.
According to a spokesperson for the UK government, the UK ‘stands by its commitments in the TCA and has granted 98% of licence applications from EU vessels’.
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