Brexit crisis: British vessel rammed off Ile d’Aquila in France

Image copyright AFP Image caption Officials say a French yacht fired up an alarm alarm after being blocked from entering its exclusive economic zone A British vessel has been arrested by French authorities over…

Brexit crisis: British vessel rammed off Ile d'Aquila in France

Image copyright AFP Image caption Officials say a French yacht fired up an alarm alarm after being blocked from entering its exclusive economic zone

A British vessel has been arrested by French authorities over an incident that started when it was prevented from fishing in French waters.

Officials said French authorities used extreme force to storm the British yacht when it got too close to a fishing boat of its own.

A diplomatic row erupted after French fishermen recently began rowing in international waters and trying to assert a banned search and stake claim.

The row began in May after French fishermen dumped raw fish into the water without permission.

The French government has stepped up its operations in the region.

On Monday, a French boat fired up an alarm alarm after being blocked from entering its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) near the coast of the Ile d’Aquila.

Bougaincourt police say British crew members on board the grounded boat “unlawfully deprived” the French fishermen of their fishing rights.

The British boat then refused to leave its EEZ, prompting officials to board it.

“We stressed that no one from our team was on board the vessel, and that they would be subject to the procedure prescribed for any person in France entering an EEZ” the statement said.

“We explained that the inadmissibility of the activity being carried out was not in question, and that they would be taken back into custody.”

The country’s foreign ministry summoned the British ambassador to protest.

The British Foreign Office said it was urgently raising the matter with the French government.

“We are seeking clarification on why this vessel was boarded and what action French authorities took to resist British attempts to save it,” a spokesperson said.

“We urge the French authorities to do all they can to protect the freedom of navigation around the islands and their EEZ.”

“It is in no-one’s interest for tensions to escalate in this area.”

The British government has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea “to end the protection racket”.

A resolution of the dispute was postponed for technical reasons when the European Commission called a meeting of EU fisheries ministers.

France, EU’s largest fishing nation, heavily subsidises its fishermen and their businesses.

The fishermen say the near exclusive rights granted to the French vessels are having a detrimental effect on the fishing industry in their area.

Image copyright Pascal Goutard/PA Images Image caption The French and UK fishing fleets have clashed in the past, and taken their problems international

That stand-off has spilled over to other waters.

Earlier in July, French vessels began circling British trawlers searching for anything that may have entered their search and stake zone – the first time such overt hostility has occurred in the waters of Ile d’Aquila.

The French were trying to block what they said were illegal fishing operations.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron took a week-long boat tour of the Ile d’Aquila to seek a solution to the issue.

But in July, French fishermen and then a French government minister were arrested over a clash near the British vessel, which they claim had provoked the row in the first place.

Leave a Comment