Day of mobilization on the Channel coast. French fishermen blocked several ports and the Eurotunnel on Friday, to show their anger against a post-Brexit dispute over the lingering fishing. “We no longer want to be in a lying poker role-playing game where one hit goes, one hit doesn't. That's enough. We want to regain control and negotiate directly, ”said Pascal Leclerc, president of the Ile-et-Vilaine fisheries committee this morning. From 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., fishermen from Saint-Malo blocked a boat from Jersey, the Normandy Trader. "We are going to prove to the British State that we are capable of causing nuisance and we do not want to come to that. When I speak of nuisances, the Christmas celebrations are coming and if we start blocking the ports ......", added Pascal Leclerc.
Read also Channel: French fishermen put an end to blockades of ports and Eurotunnel
In Ouistreham, several trawlers also prevented a ferry from leaving the port in the early afternoon, while around forty fishermen demonstrated on land under a banner “we want our licenses back”.
Earlier in the day, six fishing vessels from Boulogne-sur-Mer deployed from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. to block the port of Calais.
The mobilization of French fishermen ended with the lifting of the blockades of the port of Ouistreham and the access of goods trucks to the freight terminal of the Channel Tunnel. In front of the Eurotunnel, dozens of vans and cars blocking the entry and exit of heavy goods vehicles left, as planned, around 4 p.m. Their action, lasting two hours, caused a major traffic jam of more than a hundred trucks.
Under the Brexit agreement signed at the end of 2020 between London and Brussels, European fishermen can continue to work in British waters provided they can prove that they were fishing there before.
But the French and the British argue over the nature and extent of the supporting documents to be provided.
In total, since January 1, 2021, France has obtained "more than 960 licenses" for fishing in British waters and the Channel Islands, but Paris is still asking for more than 150 authorizations, according to the French Ministry of the Sea.