French fishermen go on the offensive in the English Channel

Pressure surge“: French fishermen launch an operation to block ports and freight access to the Channel Tunnel on Friday, on the French side, to demand the settlement of post-Brexit fishing disputes with the United Kingdom.

The atmosphere is that of great days: it is the first time since the blockade of the island of Jersey last May that French fishermen have organized a “great day of action“.

Dozens of boats are preparing to block the entry of ferries from Great Britain at three ports in the French Channel: Saint-Malo (8:00 a.m.), Ouistreham (12:00 a.m.) then Calais (2:00 p.m.).

In the afternoon, it is aboard their vans that the fishermen have planned to block, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., the access of goods trucks to the freight terminal of the Channel Tunnel.

We don’t want handouts, we just want our licenses back. The UK must abide by the post-Brexit deal. Too many fishermen are still in the dark“, declared Thursday Gérard Romiti, the president of the national fisheries committee during a press conference.

Symbolic at the entrance to ports – where the swell may not allow all the planned actions – the initiative is more threatening near the tunnel, through which 25% of trade between the United Kingdom and the Europe.

London received the message and reacted on Thursday evening, saying “disappointed“by these”threats of protest“and enjoining France to”ensure that illegal acts are not committed and that trade is not affected“.

“The tree that hides the forest”

The objective here is to block “exports (…) to England, to reach the British population and raise awareness of what is happening. They have access to the European market and we still do not have their waters“, explained Olivier Leprêtre, president of the Hauts-de-France fisheries committee.

It’s a “punch action to show what we are capable of but if we have to go further, we will target other products“, he added, specifying that the slogan was”allow passengers to pass and block cargo“.

For the president of the national committee, “this licensing issue is the tree that hides the forest: its resolution will depend on long-term relations with the United Kingdom“.

While questioning the strength of the European commitment alongside EU fishermen, Gérard Romiti welcomed “l’ultimate“launched Wednesday by the European Commission, which asked London to settle this dispute by December 10. Under the Brexit agreement signed at the end of 2020 between London and Brussels, the

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