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France detains British fishing boat in row over Brexit rights

France has detained a British fishing boat and given a verbal warning to another fishing in waters off its coast, the French government has said.

A British trawler has been handed over to French authorities after France issued the warning to that boat and another British boat fishing near the port at Le Havre, French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin said in a statement on Twitter on Thursday.

France gave verbal warnings to two British boats that were fishing in waters, as tension simmers between the neighbours over post-Brexit arrangements.

The French maritime ministry said it gave the warnings overnight to the two boats, one of which was re-directed to the French harbour. The captain of the latter boat risked legal action and confiscation of his catch, it added.

France says its fishermen lack half the licences needed to fish in British waters, which Paris says they are owed after Britain left the European Union.

On Wednesday, France issued a list of sanctions that could take effect from Nov 2 unless there is sufficient progress in the fishing row with Britain, saying it was working on a second round that could affect power supplies to its neighbour.

France could step up border and sanitary checks on goods from Britain, deny its fishing boats access to designated ports, and stiffen checks on trucks travelling between the two countries, the French maritime and European affairs ministries said in a joint statement.

More to follow… 

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