French fishermen want to block the Channel Tunnel and the Port of Calais on Friday in protest because the United Kingdom says it is denying them fishing licences. This is reported by industry organisation NMFC in an online press conference on Thursday.
The organisation announces that it will place cars and trucks in front of the entrance of the Channel Tunnel so that temporarily no trains can pass through. The tunnel is one of the main rail trade routes between the UK and France.
The conflict revolves around the fishing quotas and agreements that have been in place since Britain left the European Union. France considers that the UK does not grant enough fishing licences to French fishermen and discriminates against them compared to fishermen from other countries. London contradicts these allegations and says it is perfectly adhering to the Brexit agreements.
British prime minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that he was “disappointed” in the French threat.
“It is up to the French government to ensure that there is no illegal activity and that the trade is not compromised”, a spokesman said.
This is not the first time that London and Paris have clashed over fishing licences. In May, France threatened to shut down the power supply on the British island of Jersey, after which the British decided to send two naval ships to the island. The French government sent two patrol ships to Jersey.
At the beginning of this month, France seized another British fishing vessel, allegedly fishing in French waters without a valid licence. The originally Belgian boat named Cornelis Gert Jan was returned to the UK by court order a week later.