A sign reading "security area" is pictured at the entrance of the Port of Le Havre, France, May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

France seized on Thursday a British trawler fishing in its territorial waters without a licence and issued a verbal warning to a second vessel.

Iran PressEurope: There is a bitter row between France and Britain over access to fishing grounds after Brexit, Reuters reported.

Furious that Britain refused to grant its fishermen the full number of licenses to operate inside British waters that France says is warranted, Paris announced on Wednesday retaliatory measures if there was no progress in talks.

From November 2, Paris said it would impose extra customs checks on British goods entering France, raising the prospect of more economic pain ahead of Christmas for Britain, which is battling labor shortages and spiraling energy prices.

The government of President Emmanuel Macron is also reviewing a second volley of sanctions and does not exclude a review of its exports of electricity to Britain.

"It's not war, but it is a fight," France's Seas Minister Annick Girardin said.

"France's threats are disappointing and disproportionate and not what we would expect from a close ally and partner," a British government spokesman said.

The seized trawler, now under the control of French judicial authorities, had been rerouted to Le Havre, a major port in northern France's Normandy region, under a maritime police escort and was tied up on the port's quayside.

The vessel's captain could face criminal charges, with his catch confiscated, the ministry added.


Read More:

France, UK defence meeting canceled over submarine row, sources say