French fishermen disrupt British trade route over fishing permit line


Calais, France — French fishermen temporarily block the rail link between Calais Port and the Channel Tunnel to disrupt trade between Britain and the continent on Friday, fighting for a fishing permit in British waters. I escalated.

Fishery rights have plagued Brexit negotiations for years because of their economic and political importance to both President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The UK and the EU have agreed to set up a licensing system to allow fishing vessels access to each other’s bodies of water, but France has not been given the full number of deadlines, the UK said. , States that only those without the correct document are not allowed.

Several trawlers traveled through the harbor, blocking the passage of two DFDS and P & O-operated ferries as they approached Curry early on Friday. This is the main gateway to the European market for British products.

At the nearby Channel Tunnel Terminal in Coquelles, fishermen built a barricade of burning wooden pallets, ignited smoke grenades, and then trucks and cars quickly retreated toward the highway.

Fishermen managing obstacles said they would like to see progress by December 10.

“If we don’t go anywhere … believe me, English doesn’t have a magical Christmas. It ruins the party,” said Jean-Michel Fournier, a fisherman near Boulogne.

Britain states that it respects the post-Brexit arrangement, while France states that Britain does not respect the word.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain’s position on the issuance of fishing licenses has not changed and London is monitoring protests.

“We look forward to the French authorities ensuring free flow of traffic and trade and uninterrupted trade,” he added.

France said last week it was still waiting for 150 licenses from the UK and the Channel Islands. The conflict focuses on access to territorial waters 6-12 miles from the coast.

The UK has denied discrimination against French fishermen and states that since Brexit, 98% of fishing permits have been granted to European Union boats.

Fisheries dispute
French fishermen blocked “Normandy trader” boats at the entrance to the port of Saint-Malo when they began a day of angry protests over the issue of post-Brexit fishing permits in Saint-Malo, France in November. 26th, 2021. (Stephane Mahe / Reuters)

This figure includes approximately 1,700 licenses issued to EU vessels to operate in farther waters located in the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends 12 to 200 nautical miles from the coast.

Brexit fallout

Dover-Curry is the shortest route between the UK and the EU and has been one of Britain’s major highways in European trade since the Middle Ages. Prior to the Brexit and pandemic, 1.8 million trucks passed through Curry each year.

Earlier that day, fishermen blocked a small British cargo ship outside the port of Saint-Malo. Normandy traders run a short route between Jersey and France. France states that Jersey, a British Dependent of Britain, was also unable to issue a license for fishermen under a post-Brexit agreement.

“We want them to know that negotiations are ongoing and not a forgotten result of Brexit,” said Nicholas Deschar, a fisherman who normally operates daily in British waters until autumn but is not licensed. Stated.

In October, France temporarily seized a girder of British scallops off the north coast, alleging that it operated without legal permission, and the two countries dispatched patrol vessels to the waters off Jersey this year.

By Layli Foroudi and Manuel Ausloos