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UK Home Secretary Patel Says France's Seizure of British Trawler is 'Disappointing'

© REUTERS / GRAHAM BUCHAN INNESBritish fishing trawler Cornelis Gert Jan is seen docked in Peterhead, Scotland, Britain around March, 2019 in this social media image. Picture taken sometime in March 2019
British fishing trawler Cornelis Gert Jan is seen docked in Peterhead, Scotland, Britain around March, 2019 in this social media image. Picture taken sometime in March 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.10.2021
On Thursday, France seized a British trawler that was fishing in its territorial waters without a license and issued a warning to another vessel nearby, as a post-Brexit dispute over fishing rights is ongoing between the two countries.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has said it is disappointing that France seized a British fishing trawler earlier in the day.

"In terms of what has happened this morning I think it's important to say obviously that it is disappointing and we as a country have fulfilled all our obligations under the TCA (trade deal)", she said.

The home secretary also said that discussions regarding the matter will continue both at the EU Commission level and with counterparts in the French administration.
South West Fish Producers Organisation, a group representing English fishermen, said the seized vessel is called the "Cornelis Gert Jan", and its seizure could have been an administrative error. The vessel was seized earlier in the day for allegedly fishing in French territorial waters without a license.
"This is being looked into at the moment and understanding why that happened, because I am led to believe they do the correct license", Juliette Hatchman, the chief executive of South West Fish Producers Organisation, told Reuters.
The same assertion was voiced by UK Environment Minister George Eustice, who insisted that the seized trawler did have a license.

"They were on the list that was provided by the MMO (Marine Management Organisation) initially to the European Union. The European Union therefore did grant a license", he said. "We are seeing some reports that for some reason, they were subsequently withdrawn from the list. It is unclear why that might have been at the moment".

The incident occurred amid heated post-Brexit disputes between the United Kingdom and France over access to fishing grounds. Apparently irritated by British officials refusing to grant French fishermen the full numbers of licenses to operate in UK waters, France warned of retaliation on Wednesday unless there is progress on the matter.
The French government, in particular, said it would impose extra customs checks on British goods set to enter France from 2 November, also considering additional sanctions.
The United Kingdom has slammed the French warnings as "disappointing and disproportionate", saying they are "not what we would expect from a close ally and partner."
As the fishing rights row between London and Paris continues to escalate, French officials have accused Britain of failing to honour their word after Brexit, with the UK Ministry of the Environment only granting 12 licenses to French fishermen out of 47 applications. According to London, the decision is "reasonable" and in line with the post-Brexit agreement with the EU.
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