Boris Johnson should play the French at their own game by impounding their fishing boats that unlawfully enter British seas, according to Nigel Farage.


In the face of threats of penalties from across the Channel, Nigel Farage has encouraged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be harder on French fishermen who cross into British seas.

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“British trawler impounded by the French,” the former UKIP leader said on Twitter. “Why don’t we do the same to them when they come inside six miles next time?” His remark comes after French officials seized a British fishing boat.

In the intensifying battle over post-Brexit fishing rights, France’s Europe minister, Clement Beaune, has warned to adopt a zero-tolerance stance towards Britain.

“We need to speak the language of force as I’m afraid it is the only thing this British government will understand,” Mr Beune added.

“We will show no tolerance, no indulgence.”

Andrew Brown, the boat’s owner, feels the boat is being used as a “pawn” in the dispute.

Mr Brown, the director of Macduff Shellfish, stated that his vessel was not breaking any laws.

“Access to French waters for the UK scallop fleet is provided under the Brexit Fisheries Agreement,” he added. “Macduff’s fishing activity is entirely legal.”

“It appears our vessel is another pawn in the ongoing dispute between the UK and France on the implementation of the Brexit Fishing Agreement.”

This comes amid an intensifying dispute between the UK and France over fishing licences. France alleges that the UK violated the December 2020 Brexit deal by only providing 200 fishing licences to French fishermen.

The licences would allow French fishermen to fish in the UK’s fish-rich territorial seas, which are situated six to twelve nautical miles off the coast and the waters around Jersey.

A total of 230 fishing licences are still on hold.

Last night, Paris warned the UK government that if it did not provide additional French warships access to UK seas, it would face consequences.
Mr Eustice said today in the House of Commons that France’s threats were “disappointing and disproportionate.”

The Conservative MP refuted charges that the UK was not cooperating, pointing out that 736 of the 1,673 licences given were for French ships.

103 of the 121 fishing licences issued in territorial seas six to 12 nautical miles off the coasts of the United Kingdom, where the dispute is now centred, have gone to French fishermen.
“It is very disappointing to see the comments that came from France yesterday.”

“We believe these are disappointing and disproportionate and not what we would expect from a close ally and partner.

“The measures being threatened do not appear to be compatible with the trade and cooperation agreement or wider international law and if carried through will be met with an appropriate and calibrated response.”

“The UK stands by its commitments in the trade and cooperation agreement and, as I’ve said, has already granted 98 percent of licence applications from EU vessels to fish in our waters,” he continued.

“All of our decisions have been fully in line with this commitment.”

Emmanuel Macron has asked ministers to examine punitive measures that might be implemented as early as November if there are still unlicensed fishermen.

Enhanced border and sanitary inspections on products arriving from the UK, increased checks on vehicles coming from and going to the UK, or restrictions on British access to French ports are all possible measures that might disrupt supply chains in the run-up to Christmas.

Paris also said that it was “not ruling out reviewing its power supply to the UK.”