Unsolved post BREXIT dispute about fishing licenses fueled French fisher men protests on Friday


Half a dozen fishing vessels on Friday blocked access to Calais port, the main gateway to Europe from the UK, in a 90-minute protest, with similar protests mounted in the port of Ouistreham and access roads to the Channel tunnel. It was “a symbolic action” to show the message “We want our licences back,” on dispute over the UK’s failure to issue the French their full complement of fishing licences. “The British have access to the European market, while we do not have access to British waters. This is not normal, the British government must respect the agreement,” Olivier Lepretre, the president of the regional fishing committee in Calais declared. “We want the agreement signed on 24 December 2020 to be respected,” Gérard Romiti, the president of the national maritime fisheries committee, told reporters. „The patience of professionals has limits. We hope this warning shot will be heard,” he added.


The UK government responded saying it was “disappointed” by threats of protests by French fishermen. “We have licensed nearly 1,700 EU vessels overall; our approach to licensing has been reasonable and fully in line with our commitments in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).(…) We continue to work with the Commission and the French authorities and will consider any further evidence provided to support remaining license applications.” The EU has said it wants the dispute resolved by 10 December.