A British fishing cutter recently kidnapped by the French Coast Guard left the port of Le Havre this afternoon. Earlier today, a French judge ordered the ship’s immediate release.
Cutter Cornelis Gert Jan, who owes his name to the former Flemish owner, had to sail to Le Havre last week because, according to the French, he fished oysters in French waters without the required licence. France wanted the ship owner to pay a deposit of 150 thousand euros. But the shipping company’s lawyer reported that the judge had allowed the ship to go without bail.
Yesterday, British Environment Minister Eustis also reported that the French had stolen the ship leave itBut his administration later said the comment was based on a misunderstanding.
Britain’s exit from the European Union
The British claim that France wants to put pressure on the UK while taking over the simmering dispute over letting fishermen in each other’s waters after Brexit.
France complains that since the agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom, French fishermen have not been granted the agreed number of fishing permits in British waters. The British claim that 98 per cent of the licenses applied for were granted to EU fishermen.
The French are skeptical about these figures and say their country receives relatively fewer permits than other EU countries. The UK says licenses will only be denied if the fishermen are unable or unwilling to prove they have fished in those waters.
After an initial protest against the confiscation, the two countries decided to continue talking about fishing rights this week.
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