PARIS (Reuters) – French fishermen could block the Channel Tunnel linking France and the United Kingdom in protest over the allocation of post-Brexit fishing licences, warned French member of parliament Jean-Pierre Pont on Wednesday.
“Be warned,” said Pont, who is a member of parliament for President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling La Republique en Marche party, representing the coastal town of Boulogne-sur-Mer.
“Since the British are refusing to honour what they signed, as with other Anglo-Saxons in another area, the French fishermen of Boulogne-sur-Mer may be obliged, after 9 months of useless patience, to envisage ways to retaliate against the UK – for example by blocking ports or the entry of lorries towards the UK through the tunnel,” added Pont.
France accused Britain of playing politics with post-Brexit fishing rights on Wednesday, after London granted licenses to fish in its territorial waters to only 12 small French boats out of 47 applications. [nL8N2QV1BM]
Fishing rights have been one of the key battlegrounds between Britain and France in their post-Brexit negotiations. Earlier this year, a dispute over the licences led both France and Britain to send patrol vessels off the shores of Jersey, which is a self-governing British Crown Dependency.
Diplomatic relations between France and the UK have hit a low point in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told France to get a grip and give allies in the United States and Australia a break over a row about a trilateral nuclear submarine deal that tore up a separate French contract.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)