French fishermen threaten to close borders with England

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French fishermen said they would block access to the Eurotunnel and English Channel ports in northern France on Friday in protest against post-Brexit fishing rights.

A post on Thursday by a group of fishermen on Facebook said they would block ferries in Saint-Malo, Calais and Ouistreham “to denounce the terms of the Brexit deal and its consequences for fishermen.”

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The head of a fishermen association told the CNN that a protest would start at 1pm local time in Ouistreham and that 15 boats would block the region’s port. He said other groups would be blocking two different areas.

Fishermen said they were sending “an alert” to demand the UK’s swift granting of post-Brexit fishing licences.

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“We don’t want handouts, we just want our licenses back. The UK must comply with the post-Brexit agreement. Many fishermen are still in the dark,” said Gérard Romiti, president of the national maritime fisheries committee, according to the CNN, BFMTV.

The fishermen’s association told an online news conference that a large number of vehicles would be used to block access to the Eurotunnel, which is used to transport goods by rail between Britain and France, according to Reuters.

The UK government responded on Thursday that it was “disappointed” by threats of protests from French fishermen.

“We hope that the French authorities will ensure that there are no illegal actions and that trade is not affected,” said a Downing Street spokesman. “We have licensed nearly 1,700 EU vessels in total; our licensing approach has been reasonable and fully aligned 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 additional evidence provided to support the remaining license applications.”

The protests represent the latest round of tensions in a long-running dispute between the UK and France over the rights of French and British ships to fish in each country’s waters after Brexit.

* (Translated text. Click here to read the original).

Reference: CNN Brasil

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