“I mean there are few issues that are as poisonous because even if fish is a very small component of the economy of whichever nation it is associated with a lot of feelings.
“So you had a lot of strong emotions from the UK Government side certainly on ‘it’s our fish’ and I think it was someone who said the fish are now happier in UK waters than they were before.
“And the French think that the French fish are happier and I mean it is a subject where nationalism runs very rampant.”
The former Swedish PM added: “I don’t know if the fish are to be blamed for this but that is a fact.”
“It is a fishy business,” remarked TimesRadio host Tom Newton-Dunn with glee.
The UK Channel Islands have become the focus of an international dispute between Britain and France over fishing rights.
Earlier this month French fishermen launched an attempted blockade of Jersey’s main harbor before being driven away by Royal Navy patrol vessels.
“It is appalling. This was a threat to life at sea, so action must be taken against the vessel which tried to do the ramming.
“The Spanish boat should be arrested and stopped from fishing in Irish waters.”
In a statement, the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) said: “The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority are aware of a situation that arose when a Spanish registered vessel was encountered by an Irish-registered vessel operating within the waters of Bantry Bay and therefore within the IRL 12-nautical mile limit.
“The situation continues to be closely monitored by the National Fisheries Monitoring Centre at the Naval Base, Haulbowline.”