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UK fishing boat freed after being detained for 6 days in France amid Brexit row – World News

The British trawler captain has not had to pay a deposit for his vessel, Cornelis Gert Jan, to be released after the ship caused a major diplomatic fracas between the UK and France over fishing rights

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Le Havre: UK fishing boat is freed by French after 6 days

A British fishing boat has been freed after being detained for six days in France amid a Brexit row.

The court in Rouen ruled the trawler captain does not have to pay a deposit for Cornelis Gert Jan’s release.

Skipper Jondy Ward was pictured boarding the boat, before giving a cheery thumbs up to cameras as crew later gathered to pose for a picture onboard.

French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin last Thursday confirmed two British boats first received verbal warnings in the Seine Bay.

One refused to allow crew from the fishery control vessel Athos on board on Wednesday, and was immediately escorted to the port of Le Havre by maritime police.

Ms Giradin said: “The first [boat] did not immediately comply.

“The second did not have a licence to fish in our waters: diverted to the quay and handed over to the judicial authority.”








Jondy Ward, the skipper of a Scottish-registered scallop dredger, the Cornelis Gert Jan, arrives back at his boat
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Image:

PA)



The seized boat was fined for ‘obstructing control’ and her skipper faces fines and a ban from French waters for ‘not being on the list of vessels given licences by the United Kingdom and the EU,’ said a French Maritime Ministry spokesman.

He added: “These controls, customary during the scallop fishing season, are part of the tightening of controls in the Channel, in the context of discussions on licenses with the United Kingdom and the European Commission.”

It comes as France prepares to ban British seafood imports in retaliation for not getting enough fishing licenses from the UK.

It has also not ruled out cutting off electricity to the Channel Islands as part of the escalating dispute.

Gabriel Attal, spokesman for the Emmanuel Macron administration, said on Wednesday that Britain’s conduct over fishing rights in British waters following Brexit had led to the French ‘losing patience’.








Jondy Ward, the skipper of a Scottish-registered scallop dredger, returns to his vessel
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Image:

PA)



France is one of Britain’s biggest export market for fish. In 2019, the trade accounted for £561.1 million, or 27.7 per cent of total exports.

Britain’s post-Brexit agreement with the EU states fishermen can continue to fish in British waters if they obtain a licence and prove that they previously were fishing there.

The extraordinary row will spark fears of a Christmas crisis for trade to the Continent after months of supply chain snarl-ups.

President Macron told reporters at the G20 summit in Rome: “The ball is in Britain’s court.”

Macron nabbed a prime spot between Boris Johnson and his climate summit co-host in an awkward moment.








Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets French President Emmanuel Macron as he arrives to attend the COP26
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Image:

POOL/AFP via Getty Images)



Mr Johnson had to move aside to make room when the French President backed into a space between him and Italian President Mario Draghi, co-host of COP26 in Glasgow.

The pair shared a fist-bump by the Trevi Fountain in Rome, where leaders met to throw pennies over their shoulders into the water.

But the Tory leader looked surprised and did not talk to Mr Macron after the French President backed into the space.

Later Mr Macron appeared to speak briefly to the Prime Minister, though it was not clear if he was talking to another leader nearby.


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