LE HAVRE, France, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Britain on Thursday condemned France’s seizure of a British fishing boat in French waters and warned Paris against further retaliation in a rapidly deteriorating row over post-Brexit fishing rights.
French Seas Minister Annick Girardin said the vessel was detained during checks off the northern port of Le Havre overnight as it was not allowed to fish in French territorial waters. A second British boat was given a verbal warning.
The action signalled France’s determination not to back down in the row after listing potential sanctions against Britain on Wednesday if there is no progress in talks.
They include extra customs checks on British goods from Nov. 2 and what was widely seen in London as a threat to cut electricity exports to Britain if talks fail.
“It’s not war, but it is a fight,” Girardin told RTL radio.
British fishing grounds are among the richest in the North East Atlantic zone, where most of the European Union’s catch is hauled in.