David Duguid MP comments on Cornelis Gert Jan

Macduff Shellfish, fishing vessel Cornelis Gert Jan is being held in France in a dispute over fishing rights

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid said of the situation

I’ve been in discussions with the industry and with UK Government ministers on this issue.

The French appear to be accusing the UK of not following the terms of the TCA but I’m assured that we are merely following the terms for awarding licences that was agreed.

The language we are hearing from the French Government is very unhelpful.

In my discussions with the industry, everyone agrees this escalation of the debate is helping no one.

I’m working with the UK Government to make sure that we don’t grant concessions to the French beyond those agreed in the TCA.

Video of the Cornelis Gert Jan in Le Havre today

Macduff Shellfish, which owns the Cornelis, said the crew of its vessel were in good spirits after it was ordered into a French port while legally fishing for scallop in French waters.

The captain was questioned after leaving the boat with French authorities and being given legal representation by the company.

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Macduff Shellfish confirmed the captain had been released and returned to the ship, but the Cornelius was not at liberty to leave the port while the investigation was ongoing.

The firm’s Andrew Brown said the crew would remain on board until its release.

He said Macduff’s “fishing activity [was] entirely legal” and it appeared the Cornelis, based at Shoreham, in West Sussex, had been “caught up” in the ongoing UK-France post-Brexit fishing row.

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