The UK summon the French Ambassador but the French want an apology
The UK Government has responded to the French arrest and detention of a UK-registered fishing vessel in the Bay of Seine on Wednesday, 27 October, but the French are looking for an apology for a paperwork error.
A UK Government spokesperson said:
“Lord Frost chaired a Ministerial meeting earlier today to consider the UK response to the measures set out by France yesterday.
“The proposed French actions are unjustified and do not appear to be compatible on the EU’s part with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) or wider international law. We regret the confrontational language that has been consistently used by the French government on this issue, which makes this situation no easier to resolve.
“We have raised our concerns strongly with both the French and the EU Commission. As a next step, the Foreign Secretary has instructed Minister Morton to summon the French Ambassador.
“We repeat that the Government has granted 98% of licence applications from EU vessels to fish in the UK’s waters and. As consistently been made clear, will consider any further evidence on the Remainder.”
Lord Frost has responded to the situation. In a tweet this evening Lord Frost said, “I remain concerned by the French plans on fisheries and beyond.”
French maritime police detained and fined a UK-registered fishing vessel operating in the Bay of Seine on the premise that the vessel was not licenced to operate in EU waters as it was excluded from a list the EU/French authorities received from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) in the UK.
It is believed that the skipper of the detained vessel, Cornelis-Gert Jan, a Scottish owned scallop-dredger which operates from Shoreham, has produced the required licence to French police in Le Havre. French officials are believed to be satisfied that the licence is legitimate but are looking for an apology from the UK Government over the omission of the fishing vessel from the list they received.
France has given notice to the UK Government that they are willing to escalate the dispute from Monday, 02 November over the issuing of fishing licences to their vessels.