Britain agreed to issue another 23 licenses to French fishermen on Saturday, a step aimed at easing tensions between neighbors who have disagreed on the issue for the past six months.
But France believes it is entitled to some 80 more licenses from the UK and a group representing fishermen in the key port of Boulogne-sur-Mer and others along the north coast said Saturday night they would launch protests. .
“Protests are to be expected … protests that will target British imports,” said local fishing industry group CRPMEM for the Hauts-de-France region in a statement sent to AFP.
The group said its members were “exasperated” by the news of only 23 new licenses and felt “betrayed” by the European Commission, which could take legal action against Britain over the issue.
The CRPMEM said the protests would be “in line with the port blockades in Brittany, Normandy and northern France that took place on November 26”.
Fishing boats briefly blocked ferries and other boats in Calais, Saint-Malo and Ouistreham that day, while vehicles were also dispatched to disrupt traffic seeking to use the Channel Tunnel rail link.
France and the UK have clashed repeatedly this year over fishing, as well as Channel-crossing migrants, post-Brexit trade deals and the sale of submarines to Australia.
London briefly deployed two gunboats in May when dozens of French trawlers massed off the Channel Island of Jersey to protest licensing problems, prompting France to dispatch two coastal patrol boats.