UK 'disappointed' by French fishermen's blockade threat

AFP , Thursday 25 Nov 2021

Britain's government said Thursday it was "disappointed" by threats from French fishermen to blockade the Channel Tunnel in a dispute over post-Brexit fishing rights.

French fishing boats
File Photo: French fishing boats return home following their protest in front of the port of Saint Helier off the British island of Jersey to draw attention to what they see as unfair restrictions on their ability to fish in UK waters after Brexit taken on May 6, 2021. AFP

Friday's threatened action comes after the European Union gave Britain a deadline of December 10 to resolve the issue of licences sought by French fishermen, who complain that post-Brexit requirements are too onerous.

"We are disappointed by threats of protest activity," Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman told reporters.

"It will be a matter for the French to ensure that there are no illegal actions and that trade is not affected," he said.

"We continue to monitor the situation closely."

A union representing French fishermen said it planned to block ferry traffic into three Channel ports as well as the movement of goods through the tunnel between France and Britain.

The issue has contributed to growing post-Brexit strains between London and Paris, now exacerbated by a migrant disaster in the Channel that cost 27 lives on Wednesday.

Tensions over the fisheries dispute even spiralled into a brief naval standoff in May when dozens of French trawlers massed in front of Jersey's Saint Helier harbour.

Short link: