UK summons French ambassador amid fishing rights row

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UK summons French ambassador amid fishing rights row

PESHAAWAR: Hours after the French prime minister’s offer of talks, Britain summoned the French ambassador to explain the “threats” to its fishing rights in the English Channel.

According to the French news agency AFP, French Prime Minister said in a statement on Thursday that he was always ready for talks, but just hours later, British Foreign Secretary said that the French ambassador was asked to explain the “threats” against Britain rights.

On Thursday, France seized a British fishing boat and announced that it will close almost all of its ports to fishers coming from Britain. “This is not a war, but a struggle for our rights,” said French Maritime Minister. “French fishermen have rights. An agreement was reached and we have to implement it.”

France said that with a few exceptions, all French ports will no longer be accessible to British ships. French Maritime Minister had earlier confirmed that two British ships had been intercepted and were fined. Fishery disputes between Britain and France have escalated since the Bridgett agreement, and France has warned that if its fishermen are not given access to British waters, it will halt trade with Britten from next week.  

French government spokesman told reporters on Wednesday that “from November 2, goods imported from Britain to France will be checked and there will be complete ban on British seafood.” French minister said that, “France has lost about 50 per cent of its licenses, which was our right under the Fisheries Agreement reached between the UK and the EU last year.”

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