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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Sunday Times on the Baie de Seine

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fishing boats

The Sunday Times today inaccurately reports a British vessel had been intercepted by the French navy and claims falsely it may have been boarded.

We are responding this morning as Defra press office was not contacted regarding this claim.

The vessel, the Morning Star, was in the Baie de Seine - but it was not intercepted by the French navy. This story seems to be based on the two ships being within 30 miles of each other.

French authorities have confirmed that there were no inspections of UK vessels in the Baie de Seine area yesterday or last night.

Such false claims and speculation of this kind are not only unhelpful, but also highly irresponsible.

Fisheries Minister George Eustice had constructive talks with his French counterpart last week, with both calling for calm.

Following the meeting, we issued the following statement:

Minister Eustice held a positive conversation with his French counterpart Stéphane Travert on Thursday evening.

Minister Eustice made clear that the behaviour of French fisherman of earlier this week were unacceptable. Both Ministers look forward to calm, constructive talks between industry representatives from both countries next week.

Suggestions that Wednesday’s meeting between British and French fishing industry bodies - supported by both the UK and French governments - may not go ahead due to no rooms being available is sheer nonsense.

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