A flooded British trawler arrives in Britain after being released from France

A British trawler seized by France in a post-Brexit dispute over fishing rights arrived in Britain after being released from French authorities.

Scotland-registered scallop dredger Cornelis Gert Jan left Le Havre Wednesday night after accusing France of fishing in the sea without a proper license last week.

According to MarineTraffic.com, the blue, white and red trawlers left the quay after dusk and anchored at Shoreham Bai Sea near Brighton at 4:46 am on Thursday.

The shipowner, McDuff Shellfish’s spokesman, confirmed that he had been released from French authorities.

The ruling was issued after boat captain John Dee Ward appeared in Rouen’s Court of Appeals early Wednesday.

Epoch Times Photo
Cornelis Gert Jan’s skipper, Jondy Ward, returned to his boat on November 3, 2021. (AndrewMatthews / PA)

Ward explained that French maritime police detained the trawler last week for not being on the European register while fishing off the Normandy coast.

Skipper said he was not sure if it was a mistake on the part of British or French officials.

“As far as I’m concerned, we were all in place to be legal, so we were all in place on the bridge,” he said.

He said the boat was “definitely” caught in the middle of Franco British spats over a post-Brexit fishing arrangement.

The comment was repeated by his lawyer, Matthew Croix, who told reporters outside the courtroom. Perhaps fishing in out-of-range areas, and about licenses that may or may not be given, and catch relatively modest amounts. “

Cross channel talk

It happens when Sir Frost is preparing to meet French European Minister Clément Beaune in Paris to end the crisis of relations between channels.

France threatens sanctions for recognizing that it refuses to issue licenses to trawlers to operate in British waters.

The British government claimed that the overwhelming majority of license applications were allowed.

French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed the imposition of punitive damages during talks between the UK, France and the European Commission.

However, the French government has insisted on measures such as banning British trawlers from landing catches in French ports and strengthening customs inspections to prevent cross-channel trade, even if the deal fails. ..

Sir Frost will head to Brussels on Friday to meet with Maroš Šefchovic, Vice-President of the European Commission, following a meeting with Beaune on Thursday.

“Respect transactions”

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal emphasized that the threat of sanctions remains.

“As you know, the controls we have announced are still suspended, but all options are being considered and may need to be implemented if no agreement is reached. “

On Wednesday, he said: “We are waiting for only one thing: Britain respects the transactions they have signed.”

The Brexit contract licenses European Union boats that can be shown to have been caught in British waters for at least four years from 2012 to 2016.

Approximately 1,831 license applications have been submitted and 1,793 have been issued.

The main cause of the conflict was small vessels, which are fisheries in the category of less than 12 meters on the coast 6-12 nautical miles, with 50 applications, all from French vessels, but issued. There were only 19 cases.

The fishing line is just one of the issues Sir Frost raises at the meeting in Paris and Brussels.

Northern Ireland Protocol

The main controversy between Britain and the European Union is over the post-Brexit trade agreement in Northern Ireland.

Discussions continue between the UK and the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is part of Brexit’s divorce agreement that circumvented the harsh border with Ireland.

The transaction effectively kept Northern Ireland within the EU’s single market, checking products across the Irish Sea from the United Kingdom and leaving the single market.

Sir Frost argued that due to difficulties, the conditions for using Article 16 (permitting a partial suspension of the transaction) were met.

The UK wants to end its oversight role in the European Court of Justice. What Brussels said is impossible.

Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission, told ITV Peston: “Mr. Frost is well aware that this is not possible in the European Union.

“I know he is well aware that the final arbitrator is the European Court of Justice, whenever the internal market is involved.”

However, he said the Commission was “bent backwards” to reach an agreement with Britain on the Protocol.