French fishermen block ports, Eurotunnel in spit with UK – Boston Herald

CALAIS, France (AP) – French fishing crews briefly blocked French ports, ferry traffic across the English Channel and the freight entrance to the Eurotunnel on Friday to disrupt the flow of goods to Britain, in a protest over post-Brexit fishing licenses.

It is the latest point of tension between neighboring countries, which also takes the blame for not doing enough to prevent the deaths of at least 27 migrants whose boat sank off Calais on Wednesday, in the troubled waters of the world’s busiest shipping route.

French fishermen are angry at the British government for not giving more licenses to fish in British waters – and angry at their own government for not doing more to defend them. The fishing industry is economically small but symbolically important to both Britain and France.

Last week in Brittany, French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin announced that she was working on a compensation plan for fishermen who do not obtain a license and who will have to stop their activity. But that left the French fisheries committees cold. Now they are taking matters into their own hands.

Friday’s blockade is “a warning shot,” Olivier Lepretre, chairman of the regional fisheries committee, told reporters in Calais.

‘The British have access to the European market, while we do not have access to British waters. It is not normal for the British government to respect the agreement, “he continued.

Fishing crews blocked access to the port of Saint-Malo from 1 p.m. 9.00 to kl. 10am, but the blockade passed the relay to Calais and Ouistreham, where the protest continued. Meanwhile, protesters blocked access to the freight terminal in the Channel Tunnel, the motorway leading from France to Britain.

Traffic jams piled up on the A16 motorway on the French side, but the situation was described by officials as “calm” and “peaceful”. The Eurotunnel train service – which transports goods and all kinds of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, motorhomes, caravans, buses and lorries – said it is putting on 12 extra freight trains to remove the backlog.

In the port of Calais, a blockade of ferries also took place, stopping ships providing connections to Britain. Six fishing boats from the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer blocked access to the port of Calais in a short but effective 90-minute operation.

“This is a symbolic act, but if it continues, we will show more teeth,” Lepretre added to French media.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain was “disappointed by the threats of protest activity”.

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