Britain and EU could be set for crab wars as relations over fisheries becomes ‘toxic’

CRAB wars could break out between British and EU boats as relations nosedive into a “toxic” decade.

Fishing chiefs warn of “ongoing tensions” with European rivals over valuable shellfish stocks in the Channel and North Sea.

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Fishing chiefs warn of “ongoing tensions” with European rivals over valuable shellfish stocks in the Channel and North Sea[/caption]

They fear “militant” French skippers will blockade Jersey and Calais.

It comes after sabre-rattling Paris threatened to shut off power and slap tariffs on our exports in a row over licences.

The Elysee was outraged Britain and Jersey turned down access to the majority of French boats that applied.

Fisheries minister Annick Girardin pledged to table plans for “retaliatory measures” early next week.

She suspects the PM of playing hardball to squeeze Emmanuel Macron on stopping more Channel migrant crossings.

The EU Commission yesterday repeatedly refused to back French calls for reprisals at a European level.

But fishing chiefs fear tensions could also erupt with Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands over non-quota species like crab and scallops.

EU boats can catch 42,000 tonnes in our waters but UK boats are only licensed for 12,000 tonnes from the bloc.

Barrie Deas, boss of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, warned the imbalance will cause “ongoing frictions”.

Jane Sandell from UK Fisheries raised fears of a “conflict at sea” and warned the Navy may have to intervene.

She said: “We just have to hope everyone stays safe because some of these encounters look very, very hairy.”

A report by ex British fishing negotiator Gary Taylor says our fleet will be £300m worse off by 2026 under the terms of last year’s Brexit deal.



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