France seizes British boat amidst Brexit fishing row
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Tensions have been rising between the UK and France, with the dispute heightening recently due to a Scottish trawler being seized.
Joe Barnes, Brussels Correspondent at the Telegraph, tweeted: “French PM Jean Castex has sent a letter to Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission’s president, to notify her of Paris’ planned reprisals against the UK in the fish war.
“Castex asks for support because the EU needs to show ‘leaving the Union is more damaging than remaining in it.”
Mr Barnes continued: “Commission has received the letter and still analysing whether measures are in line with the TCA.”
Environment Secretary George Eustice had sent a stark warning to France over the dispute.
Mr Eustice said: “We don’t know what they’ll do, they said they wouldn’t introduce these measures until Tuesday probably at the earliest so we will see what they do.
“But if they do bring these into place, well, two can play at that game and we reserve the ability to respond in a proportionate way.”
France’s Seas Minister Annick Girardin told RTL radio recently that the UK and France were not at war, but there was tension between the countries.
They said: “It’s not war, but it is a fight.”
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France’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune had recently vowed to use the language of “strength” towards Britain over the fishing row.
He said: “We need to speak the language of force as I’m afraid it is the only thing this British government will understand.”
Andrew Brown, director of Macduff Shellfish, spoke of the seizing of the trawler which the company owned, saying the boat was doing “legal fishing”.
Mr Brown said: “The UK scallop fleet is given access to French waters under the Brexit Fisheries Agreement.
“We are looking to the UK Government to defend the rights of the UK fishing fleet and ensure that the fishing rights provided under the Brexit Fishing agreement are fully respected by the EU.”
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