Foreign secretary Liz Truss has today reaffirmed previous suggestions that the UK could pursue legal action against France amid its ongoing row over fishing licenses.

The minister told the Sky News Breakfast programme this morning that the UK could sue French authorities if they do not “stop threatening [British] fishing vessels”, saying: “This issue needs to be resolved within the next 48 hours.”

She said “the deal hasn’t been done” and pleaded for the French government to “withdraw their threats” or risk the UK triggering the post-Brexit trade deal’s dispute mechanism.

Over the weekend, Brexit minister Lord Frost said via Twitter that France’s threats “if implemented on 2 November, would put the EU in breach of its obligations under our trade agreement. So we are actively considering launching dispute settlement proceedings as set out in Article 738 of the TCA [Trade and Cooperation Agreement]”.

He went on to say that the UK would “continue to talk constructively” to mitigate the row, but he requested that Paris “step back from rhetoric and actions that make this more difficult”.

On Thursday POLITICO revealed a private letter sent by French Prime Minister Jean Castex to European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen, that read:

“It is essential to make clear to European public opinion that compliance with the commitments entered into is non-negotiable and that leaving the Union is more damaging than remaining in it,” implying that the UK ought to be punished for its exit from the political union and trade bloc.

This latest flashpoint was triggered overnight on Wednesday, when France detained a British trawler and verbally warned another off the coast of Le Havre, and the French government subsequently threatened to hike tariffs on energy, customs, and limit port access.

France and Britain have been embroiled in a post Brexit dispute over fishing licenses for months.

France has complained that its fishermen have only been granted with half the licences to fish in UK waters that they are entitled to under the Brexit agreement.

In September the UK and the Jersey refused dozens of French fishing licences.

The British government said it has granted licenses to fishing vessels with an evidenced history of operating in its waters prior to the UK’s exit from the EU.