France calls captain of seized British boat to courtroom; UK warns ‘two can play that recreation’

French authorities seized the vessel, fined one other British boat and introduced the closure of practically all of France’s ports to trawlers from the UK on Thursday, a significant escalation within the long-running spat between the allies.

France’s European affairs minister, Clement Beaune, mentioned in an interview on French TV station CNEWS that other than a number of exceptions, all French ports will now not be accessible to British boats, referring to vessels that offload fish and produce.

The captain of the Cornelis, Gert Jan, is predicted to seem in courtroom on August 11, 2022 over the alleged “unauthorized fishing by a non-EU vessel in French maritime waters,” in accordance with an announcement from deputy prosecutor Cyrille Fournier.

“Upon inspection, the captain of the vessel was not in possession of the required authorization to fish within the French unique financial zone,” Fournier mentioned in an announcement.

Juliette Hatchman, CEO of the South West Fish Producers Group, informed CNN she believes the vessel’s crew was “in possession of the suitable license to fish in European Union waters and was due to this fact fishing completely legally on the time of the boarding by French authorities.” Nonetheless, Hatchman famous that it “appeared the vessel might have been missed off an authorized UK listing.”

The most recent French measures are available response to the UK authorities’s refusal to grant post-Brexit fishing licenses to a number of French fishermen. An EU fee spokesperson informed journalists on Tuesday that as of October 1, the UK had granted licenses to fifteen out of the 47 smaller French vessels that utilized to fish in UK territorial waters.

Of the remaining vessels, France has agreed to rescind functions for 17 vessels whose proof of their fishing exercise in British waters pre-Brexit was thought-about poor, the spokesperson mentioned.

‘Two can play at that recreation,’ UK says

UK Atmosphere Secretary George Eustice mentioned Friday that the British authorities “reserves the power to reply in a proportionate means” to France’s retaliatory measures, telling Sky News that “two can play at that recreation.”

“The issues that they’re suggesting doing — which is mainly to begin to be troublesome on the borders and to shut ports and so forth — it is a clear break of not solely the Commerce and Cooperation Settlement that we have got with them, but additionally of EU regulation,” Eustice mentioned. “The feedback which have been made by France on this are fully disproportionate. They’re unacceptable.”

France detains UK boat as spat over fishing rights escalates

Eustice added that the newest incident considerations a “very small variety of vessels that simply do not qualify below the phrases of the settlement” reached.

A UK authorities spokesman mentioned: “We repeat that the Authorities has granted 98% of license functions from EU vessels to fish within the UK’s waters and, as has persistently been made clear, will take into account any additional proof on the rest.”

The French minister for the ocean, Annick Girardin, mentioned the boat that was detained Thursday was not listed on the EU’s authorized listing of UK fishing vessels, and the regional authorities director “instantly issued” an order to divert the boat to the French port of Le Havre. A second boat was fined for not complying with orders to permit French authorities to board the vessel to conduct checks, the assertion tweeted by Girardin mentioned. Further checks by French maritime gendarmes discovered no additional infraction of fishing laws.

Joseph Ataman reported from Paris, Martin Goillandeau reported from London. | France calls captain of seized British boat to courtroom; UK warns ‘two can play that recreation’


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