As militant French fishing barons vow to blockade cross-Channel trading over Christmas after Brexit row, be prepared for more.

  • British consumers could run out of stock if they fail to sign fishing permits for French-flagged boats.
  • France did not reach an agreement by Friday, the deadline for its 104 permit request for British waters access. 
  • Britain signed only 23 contracts on Saturday. However, they were warned not to move French fishermen if it was too late 
  • The chairman of the northern France fisheries commission warned that there might be further protests 
  • Annick Girardin is France’s minister of maritime. He said the country would consider ‘all legal possibilities’ for the remaining 81 permits.

Yesterday night, French fishing barons made a vow to interrupt cross-Channel trading in the days leading up to Christmas. This was to inflict severe punishment on Britain for a post Brexit row over licensing.

British consumers could be facing shortages of Christmas supplies after it was revealed that French fishing licenses were not agreed upon.

France was unable to reach an agreement by Friday, the deadline it set for itself to obtain the 104 permits that it needs to access British waters.

Only 23 were signed by Britain on Saturday, but Olivier Lepretre (chair of the fisheries committee in northern France) said that the move had “exasperated” French fishermen.

‘More protests should be expected – protests that will target British imports,’ he added. They will follow the same path as the November 26th port blockades of Brittany and Normandy,’ he said.

France failed to agree a deal by its own deadline of Friday last week to secure the 104 permits it wants for access to British waters. Britain signed off only 23 of those on Saturday but Olivier Lepretre (pictured), chairman of the northern France fisheries committee, said the move had 'exasperated' French fishermen

France did not reach an agreement to acquire the 104 permits needed to enter British waters by Friday’s deadline. Britain approved only 23 permits, while Olivier Lepretre (pictured), the chairman of the northern France fishing committee said that it had “exasperated” French fishermen.

In November, protests included blocking the entrance to Channel Tunnel.

Trade in France and Britain will be disrupted by new blockades. Ships and trucks won’t have the ability to deliver goods in the coming weeks due to these blocks. British shoppers may face shortages of Christmas goods if the dispute is not resolved, as Mr Lepretre repeatedly warned.

He claimed that skippers were being ‘betrayed’ by the British government and had been abandoned by European officials. He said that fishermen are now more united than ever.[They]You do not want to feel taken advantage in the face such bad faith.

Annick Girardin from France, France’s maritime Minister, suggested that Britain may be sued in accordance with the Brexit deal. Yesterday, he said the country would consider ‘all legal possibilities’ for the remaining permit.

The protests in November included the Channel Tunnel's entrance being blocked. Pictured: French fishermen protest in St Helier in May this year

Protests against the Channel Tunnel included blocking of entry to Channel Tunnel. Photo: In May, French fishermen demonstrated in St Helier. 

Both sides have the right to take retaliatory actions if the other party fails to honor the agreement.

This could result in heavy tariffs for UK exports of fish to the EU or on other goods and/or services. A second option is for the UK to ban trawlers from using EU waters.

Later today, diplomats and ministers will be discussing the dispute at a meeting with fisheries ministers in Brussels. Long-standingly, the UK stated it would give licences to French skippers if they could show that they have fished in British waters since before the 2016 referendum.

Hinting that Britain could be sued under the Brexit deal, Annick Girardin (pictured), France's maritime minister, said yesterday the country was looking at 'all legal options' for the remaining 81 permits

Annick Girardin, France’s maritime minister (pictured), suggested yesterday that Britain might be sued for breaching the Brexit agreement.

Pictured: A trawler is impounded amid post-Brexit fishing row between France and Britain

A French flotilla stages a protest in Jersey (pictured)

Pictured are a trawler being impounded (left), as well as a French flotilla staging a protest in Jersey. 

French fishermen claimed that their vessels smaller than a standard GPS tracker were not fitted with the equipment necessary to prove historical connections.

Britain uses commercially-available tracking data for each claim assessment. Officials now look through skippers logbooks to see if they’re eligible.

According to the UK Government: “Our approach to fishing licences is evidence-based, in accordance with the Brexit deal.”

The protests in November included the Channel Tunnel's entrance being blocked (pictured)

Britain and France are still in talks to resolve the post-Brexit fishing row

French fishermen protested and some blocked the Channel Tunnel’s entry in November. (left).