The government has said the trawler at the centre of the fishing row with France remains impounded, after minister claimed otherwise.
Environment minister George Eustice told reporters earlier today that the fishing trawler impounded by French authorities last week had been released.
“I understand that vessel has now been released and I think there’s going to need to be some further discussions,” he told Sky News.
However Downing Street has said this is not the case, telling reporters earlier today that: “The vessel concerned remains in port having been detained by the French authorities but given it’s an ongoing legal process I am restricted in anything I can say further.”
In a statement last night, a UK Government spokesman welcomed that the news that the French government will not implement planned measures to hike tariffs on energy, customs, and limit port access in their ongoing row over fishing licenses.
They will continue talks until Thursday.
This latest flashpoint was triggered in the early hours of last Thursday morning, when France detained a British trawler and verbally warned another off the coast of Le Havre.
“We welcome the French Government’s announcement that they will not go ahead with implementing their proposed measures as planned tomorrow. The UK has set out its position clearly on these measures in recent days,” said the UK government spokesperson.
They went on: “As we have said consistently, we are ready to continue intensive discussions on fisheries, including considering any new evidence to support the remaining licence applications. We welcome France’s acknowledgement that in-depth discussions are needed to resolve the range of difficulties in the UK/EU relationship. Lord Frost has accepted Clement Beaune’s invitation and looks forward to the discussions in Paris on Thursday.”
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.
Yesterday the Government of Jersey said it has now issued 49 temporary licences to French fishing vessels, as announced on the 28 October.
These vessels will be able to fish in Jersey waters until 31 January 2022, to grant time to provide further data which is necessary to secure a permanent licence under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
They said they are open to receiving further data for vessels that currently have no licence, and new applications can be submitted at any time.