French fishermen have lifted their blockade on all cross-channel ports.
Earlier, trawlermen had temporarily allowed only Calais and Dunkerque to re-open – but Boulogne’s closure is also now over. The row over fishing quotas looked set to continue into a third day, but Unions have now said they will pursue other forms of protest. The fisherman are furious about EU limits aimed at protecting dwindling stocks. Yesterday, the French government offered them an incentive of four million euros to help bring the stand-off to an end. Since Tuesday, Dunkirk, Boulogne, Calais have all been crippled, causing disruption on both sides of the channel. But the removal of the blockade has already allowed traffic to start moving again. British Ferry operator P and O, which has heavily criticised the French government’s handling of the dispute and is suing for compensation, says it has already started working through the backlog of traffic. A time honoured tactic by French fishermen, there had been fears the protest might begin again.