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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Brexit: French fishermen plan to block Channel Tunnel due to row of fishing licenses | World News

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French fishermen will attempt to block the Channel Tunnel and Calais harbor tomorrow in protest that the UK has not granted them more fishing licenses since Brexit.

Members of the fishermen’s association said 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 in dispute over the number of licenses the UK has issued to French vessels to allow them to fish in British waters since the UK left the European Union.

France, and its fishermen, say many more licenses should have been granted and that frustration is mounting. The UK insists it is abiding by post-Brexit deals.

Two Royal Navy ships were dispatched to protect Jersey from the blockade of French fishing vessels in May. Photo: Michael Bewley

“This is our demonstration of the quality and ability of professional fishermen to mobilize in response to the UK’s provocative, contemptuous and humiliating attitude towards them,” said Gerard Romiti, Chairman of the National Marine Fisheries Committee.

It is not the first time that French fishermen have tried to take direct action.

In April, they blocked trucks transporting fish from British waters to processing centers in France.

And the British navy sent two patrol boats in May when French ships blockade the port of Saint Helier in Jersey.

France and the United Kingdom have also exchanged criticism for the deaths of 27 migrants who drowned when they tried to cross the canal in an inflatable boat on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the port of Dover said they were aware of the potential for a “limited period of outages in France.”

The person added: “The port will be open to the public as normal, and proven plans have been put in place to deal with temporary interruptions to cross-channel services should they occur.

“We encourage customers traveling tomorrow to allow some extra time for their journey and check with their chosen ferry operator for the latest updates.”

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