France summons captain of seized British fishing boat to court as UK warns 'two can play that game'

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 serious escalation within the long-running spat between the allies.

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

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

“Upon inspection, the captain of the vessel was not in possession of the required authorization to fish in the French exclusive economic zone,” Fournier stated in an announcement.

Juliette Hatchman, CEO of the South West Fish Producers Organization, instructed CNN she believes the vessel’s crew was “in possession of the appropriate license to fish in European Union waters and was therefore fishing totally legally at the time of the boarding by French authorities.” However, Hatchman famous that it “appeared the vessel may have been missed off an approved UK list.”

The newest 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 instructed 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 purposes for 17 vessels whose proof of their fishing exercise in British waters pre-Brexit was thought of poor, the spokesperson stated.

‘Two can play at that recreation,’ UK says

UK Environment Secretary George Eustice stated Friday that the British authorities “reserves the ability to respond in a proportionate way” to France’s retaliatory measures, telling Sky News that “two can play at that game.”

“The things that they are suggesting doing — which is basically to start to be difficult at the borders and to close ports and so on — this is a clear break of not only the Trade and Cooperation Agreement that we’ve got with them, but also of EU law,” Eustice stated. “The comments that have been made by France on this are completely disproportionate. They’re unacceptable.”

France detains UK boat as spat over fishing rights escalates

Eustice added that the newest incident considerations a “very small number of vessels that just don’t qualify under the terms of the agreement” reached.

A UK authorities spokesman stated: “We repeat that the Government has granted 98% of license applications from EU vessels to fish in the UK’s waters and, as has consistently been made clear, will consider any further evidence on the remainder.”

The French minister for the ocean, Annick Girardin, stated the boat that was detained Thursday was not listed on the EU’s permitted listing of UK fishing vessels, and the regional authorities director “immediately 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 stated. Additional checks by French maritime gendarmes discovered no additional infraction of fishing laws.

Joseph Ataman reported from Paris, Martin Goillandeau reported from London.

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