By Layli Foroudi and Clotaire Achi
BOULOGNE-SUR-MER, France (Reuters) – People who make a living from fishing in the English Channel closed the hatches on Monday over an escalation of a Franco-British dispute over fishing licenses which they say will be costly for all the sides.
France claims Britain fails to honor post-Brexit deal https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/post-brexit-fishing-rules-heart-new-uk-france-clash-2021 -10-28 on access to UK fishing grounds and said from midnight (2300 GMT) on Monday he would fight back https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/brexit-france-readying- sanctions-if-uk-withholds-fishing-licenses -2021-10-27 by tightening the control of trucks coming from Great Britain and banning British trawlers from docking in French ports.
Olivier LeprÃªtre, chairman of the regional sea fishing committee for northern France, said he had advised members of his group to stay clear of UK waters, in case they were caught in the measures British tit for tat.
Data monitoring maritime traffic in the English Channel on Monday afternoon showed that most of the French fishing fleet remained close to their coasts. British trawlers also remained in their own sector.
Lepetre said France must take tough action against Britain, but its members were also worried about collateral damage resulting from a deepening of the dispute.
The UK government launched its own threat against France on Monday, telling Paris it has 48 hours https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/britain-warns-france-back-down-48-hours -or-face-trade -troubler-2021-11-01 its planned retaliatory measures, or face legal action.
StÃ©phane Pruvost is the boss of the seafood processing company JP MarÃ©e, one of the many in the port of Boulogne who import part of their raw materials from Great Britain.
He said he feared a disruption to his supply chain on Tuesday if France followed through on threats to step up checks on trucks entering France from Britain through the port of Calais and arriving in Boulogne .
âIs blocking imports the solution? He asked, in an interview with Reuters.
Referring to French President Emmanuel Macron, he said: âMacron is not aware of the effects of all this. We only listen to the voice of the fishermen and no one at any other point in the chain. “
StÃ©phane Fournier, a 44-year-old fisherman in Boulogne-sur-Mer, is among dozens of expectations that Great Britain will issue his vessel a license to fish in its waters.
He said France must retaliate against Britain, even if there is a backlash for French fishing crews.
âI would rather lose a month’s salary than lose our livelihood, our way of life,â he said.
The dispute between London and Paris over fishing licenses was, he said, a “political game with pride on either side and we are in the middle watching the game”.
(Additional reporting by Juliette Jabkhiro, Sarah Meysonnier and StÃ©phane Mahe; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Alison Williams)