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World France seizes British trawler as post-Brexit fishing row spirals

14:16  28 october  2021
14:16  28 october  2021 Source:   aljazeera.com

France detains British trawler as fishing rights row intensifies

  France detains British trawler as fishing rights row intensifies France has detained a British trawler and given a verbal warning to another fishing in waters off its coast, the French government has said © Reuters France has detained a British trawler and given a verbal warning to another. File pic In a tweet, the French Maritime Ministry said: "This Wednesday, two English ships were fined during classic checks off Le Havre. "The first did not comply spontaneously: verbalization."The second did not have a licence to fish in our waters: diverted to the quay and handed over to the judicial authority.

France has seized one British trawler for operating in its territorial waters without a licence and fined another as a bitter dispute with the United Kingdom over post-Brexit access to fishing grounds escalates.

London and Paris have frequently clashed over the issue of fishing rights in recent months [File: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters] © Provided by Al Jazeera London and Paris have frequently clashed over the issue of fishing rights in recent months [File: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters]

The French maritime ministry said the ships were cautioned during checks by maritime police on fishing vessels off the northern port of Le Havre overnight on Wednesday, hours after Paris warned it needed to “speak the language of strength” with London amid the smouldering row and warned of impending sanctions.

Owner of UK trawler calls French detention 'political'

  Owner of UK trawler calls French detention 'political' The detention of a British trawler by France as it fished for scallops appears to be "politically motivated", a director of the company that owns the vessel told AFP. France has been carrying out extra checks on British boats as London and Paris row over post-Brexit fishing rights. The French maritime minister Annick Girardin said on Twitter that the checks being carried out on British boats were standard during the scallop-fishing season. She said however that the checks were launched against "the backdrop of the tightening of controls in the Channel, in the context of discussions on licenses with the United Kingdom and the European Commission".

The seized trawler, now under the control of French judicial authorities, did not have proof it was allowed to fish in French waters, the maritime ministry said.

It was subsequently rerouted to Le Havre and was tied up at the port’s quayside. The boat’s captain could now face criminal charges and its catch may be confiscated.

The other boat was fined for initially resisting a check by the maritime police.

British Interior Minister Priti Patel described the seizure as “disappointing” as Environment Minister George Eustice called for calm.

Eustice told the British Parliament that he had spoken to EU Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius and stressed: “It is important we remain calm, de-escalate it.”

The incidents came after France threatened to take retaliatory measures from next week over what it says is the UK’s refusal to grant its fishermen the full number of licences to operate inside British waters that Paris claims is warranted.

After threats, France opens door to talks on fishing feud

  After threats, France opens door to talks on fishing feud France's prime minister said Thursday that he was ready for talks with Britain to resolve the months-long standoff over fishing access rights, while insisting that London honour its post-Brexit commitments. French fishermen have rights, a deal was signed and we must implement this deal," Maritime Minister Annick Girardin said Thursday. At stake are the livelihoods of over 200 fishermen still awaiting licences to ply waters between six and 12 miles from British shores, in particular around the Channel island of Jersey, according to French officials.

The UK and the Channel Island of Jersey last month denied dozens of French fishing boats the right to operate in their territorial waters, saying they did not supply evidence to support their applications to do so.

France says the restrictions are contrary to the post-Brexit agreement that London signed when it left the EU on January 31 last year.

London and Paris trade barbs

Negotiations between the UK and the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, over the fishing rights dispute are ongoing.

After weeks of talks, UK authorities have issued more licences but the number still accounts only for 50 percent of what France believes it “is entitled to”, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday.

Attal’s remarks came as the French ministers for Europe and for maritime affairs said in a joint statement on Wednesday that Paris will bar UK fishing boats from designated ports and impose extra customs checks on British goods entering France from November 2 unless an acceptable agreement is reached before then.

Brexit. The Verbalized British Trawler Risk 75,000 Euros Fine

 Brexit. The Verbalized British Trawler Risk 75,000 Euros Fine © Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP This photo taken in the harbor of Le Havre, in the north of France, on October 28, 2021, shows the trawler 'Cornelis-Gert Jan held by the French authorities. suspected of caught more than two tons of unlicensed scallops, a British fisherman drooled at Le Havre risks a salty fine. He denounces a political maneuver while France and the United Kingdom are knives from the post-merxit fisheries regulations.

That raises the prospect of more economic pain before Christmas for the UK, which is currently facing labour shortages and rising energy prices.

Paris is also reviewing a second round of sanctions which “doesn’t exclude” measures that would target energy supplies to the UK.

European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune told news channel CNews France needed to “speak the language of strength since that seems to be the only thing this British government understands”.

But the UK has defended its stance, with officials saying that fishing licences have been issued to vessels able to show a track record of operating in its waters in the years prior to its withdrawal from the EU.

A government spokesperson said on Thursday that France’s threatened actions “do not appear to be compatible” with the UK-EU Brexit withdrawal agreement “and wider international law”, before warning they will be met with an appropriate and calibrated response if carried through.

“France’s threats are disappointing and disproportionate and not what we would expect from a close ally and partner,” the spokesperson said.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from London, said the dispute appeared to be heading towards further “escalation”.

“It’s unclear how this will be resolved, because the threats are going in a very serious direction,” Simmons said.

“This is a time of real tension between France and Britain over a raft of issues,” he added, citing the row that erupted in the wake of the announcement of the AUKUS security pact between the UK, the United States and Australia.

The trilateral agreement for the Indo-Pacific region led to Australia scrapping a multibillion-dollar deal with France to build conventional submarines.

It will instead acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with US and British technology.

Brexit: Emmanuel Macron pauses on Thursday the threats of fishing on fishing .
The British should present this Tuesday "with new proposals" according to the President, who has renounced to apply sanctions to midnight © Alastair Grant / AP / SIPA Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson in discussion at the COP26 at Glasgow Sentegration - The British should present this Tuesday "with new proposals" according to the President, who has renounced to apply sanctions At midnight in its Post-Brexit iron arm with the United Kingdom, France still puts a bit on dialogue.

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