French fishermen threaten to blockade UK exports so no fish can enter EU after no‑deal Brexit

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Fishermen are preparing to stage a blockade at the busy port of Calais, in order to prevent UK fish exports from entering the country if no deal takes place (GETTY)

French fishermen are threatening to blockade the port of Calais in an attempt to stop UK fish exports reaching the continent if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.

In the event of a no deal Brexit, EU fisherman will be banned from British waters, unless the Government decides to give access.

In response, Trawlermen from Northern France are threatening to blockade the port unless Boris Johnson grants EU boats to fish in UK waters.

French fishermen are again threatening to blockade the port of Calais over a no-deal Brexit (GETTY)

The proposed protest, staged by the regional fisheries committee in Northern France, would create chaos on goods passing between Calais and Dover on the busy shipping route.

Committee chairman Olivier Lepretre said: “If there is a hard Brexit, I can assure you that not a single kilo of seafood or fish from Britain will get into France.

“We would set up barricades. All the fishermen along the northern French coast will tell you the same thing.

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“We will find Belgian, Dutch and Spanish boats crammed into French waters.

“Every fisherman in Europe is fed up with the common fisheries policy.”

Britain currently exports around 75% of its catch overseas, of which 75% is sold on the EU’s market.

French fishermen are anxious to avoid a hard Brexit that could shut them out of British territorial waters, while in UK ports, trawlermen hope such moves could reinvigorate the British fishing industry (GETTY)

It is not the first time fishermen blocked the busy port in Northern France.

Previously, French fishermen used boats to blockade Calais, in a protest over electric pulse fishing in the North Sea.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has insisted that Brexit gives the Government the opportunity to gain control of who accesses British waters.

In 2018, British and French fishermen were involved in bitter and violent clashes, dubbed the “scallop wars” in the English Channel.