French fishers blocked off the Normandy Trader boat at the port of Saint-Malo on Friday. They started a day of protests to mark their anger over the issue of post-Brexit fishing licences.
The fishers lit red flares as they started their protest, which will be followed later on Friday by a planned blockade. This was started by other French fishers of the Channel tunnel and the port of Calais. This was all in protest at Britain’s failure to issue them with more fishing licences since Brexit.
The protests were agreed at a meeting on Thursday as a demonstration. This they claimed, was what they said was the contemptuous and humiliating approach of the UK since Brexit.
Gérard Romiti, the president of the national maritime fisheries committee. He told reporters that all they wanted was the honouring of the trade and cooperation deal sealed on Christmas Eve last year.
He described the demonstration as legitimate and said it aimed to prevent “British bad faith”. It was prevailing in the fishing dispute and in other matters.
Romiti said the dispute should be seen in the wider context of the UK’s strained relationship with the EU and France. This includes a range of issues including Northern Ireland and the people trafficking crisis in the English channel.
Saint Malo was due to be blocked between 8am and 9am with further protests at Calais port between 12pm and 1.30pm. While the A16 access route to Eurotunnel was due to be blocked between 2pm and 6pm. There will also be similar actions in Ouistreham on Friday afternoon.