Confusion over British trawler held in France

There was confusion early Tuesday (November 2) about the fate of a British trawler held by French authorities - and the state of a major fishing dispute between the two countries.

British Environment Secretary George Eustice said he understood the vessel had been freed.

But the boat's owner later said it was still being held at the French port of Le Havre.

As of Tuesday morning ship tracking data showed the vessel was still in France.

It comes a day after French President Emmanuel Macron said his government was postponing sanctions against Britain.

France alleges Britain has not honoured a post-Brexit deal on access to British fishing grounds.

Macron warned France would retaliate by stepping up checks on trucks coming from Britain.

He also said France would ban British trawlers from docking in French ports.

Macron - who is in the UK attending a U.N. climate conference - told reporters Monday the French plan was on hold until they saw the outcome of renewed talks.

Eustice said postponement of the sanctions marked a welcome move by Paris to step back from escalation.

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