French fishers to block Channel tunnel in Brexit licences row


French fishers plan to block the Channel tunnel and the port of Calais on Friday in protest at Britain’s failure to issue them with more fishing licences since Brexit.

Members of the fishers’ association told an online news conference on Thursday that a large number of vehicles would be used to block the tunnel, which is used to ship goods by rail between Britain and France.

London and Paris are at loggerheads over the number of licences Britain has allocated to French boats to allow them to fish in British waters since Britain left the EU.

France and its fishing industry say many more licences should have been allocated and patience is wearing thin. Britain says it is respecting the post-Brexit arrangements.

“This is our demonstration of the quality and ability of professional fishermen to mobilise in response to the UK’s provocative, contemptuous and humiliating attitude towards them,” said Gérard Romiti, the president of the national maritime fisheries committee.

French fishers have previously taken matters into their own hands. In April, they blocked trucks carrying fish from British waters to processing centres in France. In May, the British navy dispatched two patrol boats when French boats blockaded St Helier’s harbour in Jersey.

France and Britain have also criticised each other over the deaths of 27 people who drowned when they attempted to cross the Channel in an inflatable dinghy on Wednesday.

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