December 3, 2021

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UK criticizes France over seizure of fishing boat and escalation of post-Brexit dispute

UK criticizes France over seizure of fishing boat and escalation of post-Brexit dispute

The UK condemned France ‘s seizure of a British fishing boat in French waters and warned the Paris government on Thursday that it would retaliate further in the fast – growing fishing rights controversy after Brexit.

French warship and British fishing vessel Arnelis Gert John 10/28/2021 REUTERS / Sarah Meyssonnier at the port of Le Havre

Photo: Reuters

Cornelis Gert John, a mussel treasure vessel, was taken to the port of Le Havre overnight after its crew failed to prove it was a boat authorized to fish in French waters, said French Maritime Minister Annie Girardin.

The second British ship received a verbal warning.

The move signaled France’s determination not to back down from the controversy, a day after it listed possible sanctions against the UK if talks failed to move forward.

Additional new checks on British products from November 2 include possible sanctions, and are widely seen as threatening to reduce electricity exports to the UK if negotiations do not move forward.

“This is not a war, but a fight,” Girardin told Radio RTL.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss ordered the French ambassador in London on Friday to explain “the disappointing and disproportionate threats against the UK and the Channel Islands.”

“I have instructed European Minister Wendy Morton to summon the French ambassador to Britain for a meeting tomorrow to explain the frustration and disproportionate threats against the UK and the Channel Islands,” Truss said.

British fishing grounds are one of the richest in the Northeast Atlantic region, where the EU gets most of its fish.

The French move is designed as a warning shot to pressure the UK to withdraw from negotiations with the EU.

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