French fishermen are set to continue their blockade of Channel ports for a third successive day.
However, the action is being suspended at Calais and Dunkirk this morning while the trawlermen attend meetings. Some stranded ferry passengers were able to get moving last night when restrictions were eased at Calais. But the dispute seems far from over. A meeting with France’s fishing minister failed to deliver on the protesters’ demands. They want an increase in EU quotas for cod catches. So, despite the offer of four million euros in aid, Dunkirk, Boulogne and Calais could be fully blockaded again later today. On both sides of the water, the disruption has been massive. Cross Channel traffic has been crippled. Spokesman for P&O Ferries Brian Rees said: “We should be running 30 odd sailings a day, each way, carrying thousands of trucks, thousands of cars and it has totally ground to a halt. It is absolutely crazy.” The traffic congestion caused by the ports’ paralysis has meant misery for holidaymakers although some, like Briton David Langham, were determined to look on the bright side. He said he was coping with: “Plenty of food, plenty of booze and as long as the sun is shining.” Today, however, there may be no room for laughter with warnings that the fishing protests could spread to a full blockade of the Channel Tunnel.