Last night French fishermen blockaded British lorries in a protest as they have lost access to the UK’s coastal waters after Brexit.
UK landed fish were prevented from arriving at Europe’s largest seafood processing centre at Boulogne-sur-Mer, as union bosses urged them to block British lorries.
French fishermen set off flares on the docks and used wooden pallets and barrels with a banner that read “You want to keep your waters??? OK… So, keep your fish!!!”
Bruno Margolle, head of the main fishermen’s cooperative in Boulogne-sur-Mer said, “We thought it would be a matter of days.
“Four months on, we’ve barely moved forwards.”
They are furious that they have not been issued licences to fish in British waters and fear that the fishing industry in northern France will become “extinct.”
Olivier Lepretre, President of the regional fisheries committee said, “From January to April, I’ve lost 70% of my turnover.
“I’ve stopped my boat, I get zero fish every time! It’s 16 hours of work to lose money. I am completely demoralised and to speak honestly, we are all in trouble.”
Lepretre warned that fishing in northern France is heading for “extinction” unless the UK allows French fishermen to have access to British waters.
The French government are calling on the European Commission to intervene with “firm and determined action” to ensure the British government stick to the post-Brexit agreement.
Hardline Europe Minister Clement Beaune and Annick Girardin, Minister of the Seas said, “We will act in a spirit of European solidarity and cooperation with Britain, but the urgency of the situation compels us all to speed up efforts.”
A Defra spokesman said, “The UK maintains a consistent, evidence-based approach to licensing EU vessels using information supplied by the European Commission.
“We do not recognise the figures that have been shared by the French fishing industry and consider this reaction to be unjustified.”