The government has condemned the actions of the French government and the they have summoned the ambassador in London over the escalating fishing row.
Brexit Minister Lord Frost chaired a meeting to consider the government’s response which is a sign there is growing concern in Westminster.
“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,” a UK Government spokesman said.
“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 (Wendy) Morton to summon the French Ambassador.”
The Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the French ambassador Catherine Colonna is expected to attend the Foreign Office today so that she can “explain the disappointing and disproportionate threats made against the UK and Channel Islands.”
Andrew Brown, director of sustainability and public affairs at Macduff, said, “It appears our vessel has been caught up in the ongoing dispute between the UK and France on the implementation of the Brexit fishing agreement.
“The Cornelis does have catch aboard.
“This may be confiscated by the French authorities unless a speedy resolution is achieved.
“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.”
French maritime minister Annick Girardin told the French radio news programme RTL Matin that Britain’s “failure to comply” with the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) is “unacceptable”.
She said, “It’s not war, it’s a fight.
“The French and the fishermen have rights.
“An agreement was signed.
“We must enforce this agreement.
“We have fishing rights, we must defend them and we will defend them.”