Defend our rights! Owner of boat seized by France urges Boris to intervene and hit back

Brexit: Jersey minister demands French fishermen show logbooks

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After being seized by French officials, the owners of the Cornelis Gert Jan, insisted the vessel was fishing legally in the waters off the coast of France. Indeed, Macduff Shellfish, the owners of the vessel, called on the UK Government to ensure the rights of fishermen were maintained in accordance with the Brexit agreement. The organisation also claimed the vessel had been caught up in the row over fishing licences in Jersey.

Andrew Brown, director of sustainability and public affairs at Macduff, said: “The UK scallop fleet is provided access to French waters under the Brexit Fisheries Agreement. Macduff’s fishing activity is entirely legal.

“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 officials detained the vessel after the UK Government refused licences to vessels to fish around the waters of Jersey earlier this year.

Mr Brown added: “We will vigorously defend ourselves against any claims.

“Our priority concern is for the welfare of the crew of the Cornelis.

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“The crew are in good spirits and will remain on board the vessel until its release.

“The skipper has left the vessel to be interviewed by the French authorities and we have ensured that he has legal representation throughout these discussions.”

In September, Jersey refused licences to 75 French vessels to access its waters from October 30.

On Wednesday, the French government said it would begin to introduce measures from November 2.

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These measures include: preventing British fishing boats from disembarking at ports, increasing border and sanitary checks on UK goods, tightening security checks on British boats and increasing checks on trucks going to and from the UK.

Two vessels, including Cornelis Gert Jan, were warned overnight following the new measures.

The French government has also threatened to cut off energy supplies to the UK.

Amid the seizure, the UK Government has warned it will take a swift and appropriate response.

Environment Secretary George Eustice, told MPs he will look for urgent clarification from the French government.

The EU Commission met with UK officials today which resulted in 162 fishing licences being offered.

Of the 162 licences, 113 were permanent while 40 were permanent

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