Written by Staff Writer
French police arrested two people on Friday in France after a British yacht passed into waters belonging to French fishers, the country’s Marine and Fisheries Minister told French public broadcaster France 3.
“I have received numerous irate text messages… today’s news from the coastguard is obviously not a pleasant one. It’s clear that France will not tolerate illegal activities by any private boat,” said Caroline Pavier in a statement.
“The signs of disorientation were clear from the very beginning: the men were trying to communicate in a difficult manner and did not have the right documentation,” said Pavier, without revealing the men’s identities.
The incident comes after British businessman Andrew ‘Beef’ Tindall, husband of Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter Zara Tindall, angered France last month after allegedly landing on the French island of Corsica with a boat loaded with lobster.
French fisherman attack British yacht
British politician Caroline Pinder, who initially tweeted the incident, appeared to have tried to defend her client as she released a statement on the ship’s departure.
“This was a common run of the mill business trip, with a chartered motor yacht doing work work from Gibraltar and Corsica, all legal,” she said.
“While the owner has continued to vigorously defend his position, I now hope for a quick and positive resolution. The French authorities have been more than aware of this trip from Gibraltar. I also believe that the UK Government should be doing more to address its fisherman’s worries.
“My client considers it unfair that, as a result of uncertainty over the relationship between the UK and EU after Brexit, the French Government is passing judgments on the business decisions of British fishermen,” she said.
The British Conservatives Member of Parliament, Henry Smith, said: “This is yet another unfortunate side effect of Britain’s rejection of the EU as an idea.”
“There is no excuse for pushing, harassment and intimidate tactics towards our fishermen. I’m appalled by this incident and we should all condemn it.”