The UK government has said it is talking to French authorities to ensure there will be "no repeat" of clashes between fisherman over scallops off France's north coast. On Monday, nearly 40 French boats confronted British rivals they say are depleting scallop stocks in the area. The UK's environment secretary says the British boats were fishing legally. France says it is ready to send more police vessels to the area to prevent further clashes. Boats collided and stones were thrown during the confrontation off the coast of Normandy in the early hours of Tuesday.
British and French fishermen have clashed in the Channel, over alleged "looting" of the scallop fishing grounds there by British boats. Tense exchanges were filmed on Tuesday, off the coast of Normandy, after years of carefully managed truce between the two sides. What lies behind the fresh tensions, and what impact will Brexit have on relations between them? In times of cross-Channel tension, it's been a handy and well-worn reflex in some quarters to blame the meddlesome bureaucracy of the EU - its agricultural subsidies; its detailed trading standards; its fishing quotas. For more than a decade, the friction between British and French fishermen around the Bay of Seine, off the coast of Normandy, has been over scallops.
British and French fishermen have reached a deal to end the scrap over scallops in the English Channel. The agreement, starting on Tuesday, will see larger British boats withdrawing in return for greater fishing rights elsewhere. In August, boats collided and fishermen threw stones at each other as the French accused UK boats of depleting scallop stocks. British fishermen said they were legally entitled to fish there. Under the terms of the new deal, UK scallop dredgers over 15m long will leave the scallop beds off the coast of Normandy from midnight for six weeks.
French fishermen have clashed with their British counterparts off the coast of Normandy in a dispute over scallops. But what are the relevant rules? Scallops are among the more valuable shellfish, coveted for their delicate taste. They're causing trouble in the Channel, where French fishermen say UK rivals are "pillaging" stocks off the coast of Normandy. British fishermen say they are operating within the law and that French boats have no right to try to stop them dredging in the Baie de Seine area.
A smouldering row between London and Paris over post-Brexit fishing rights has flared up, with France threatening trade disruptions from next week if its boats are not granted more access to British waters. The measures targeting British fish exports from November 2 would include "systematic customs and sanitary checks on products brought to France and a ban on landing seafood", French government spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters on Wednesday. Europe Minister Clement Beaune said extra checks could also be extended to "other merchandise" by "reinforcing our procedures and controls compared with current practices". Tweeting in response to Beaune, London's Brexit minister David Frost posted a government statement that "France's threats 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 (post-Brexit) Trade and Cooperation Agreement and wider international law," the statement continued.