Home Brexit France threatens to cut off the lights in Jersey over Brexit fishing rights

France threatens to cut off the lights in Jersey over Brexit fishing rights

5th May 21 10:27 am

The French government have threatened to cut off the electricity supply to Jersey in yet another row over post-Brexit fishing rights.

Paris has accused the British government off using red tap to limit fishing which French leaders claim is in breach of the agreement made in negotiations last year.

The French Maritime Minister, Annick Girardin said of the potential electricity cuts, “We are ready to use these retaliation measures.

“Europe, France has the means, that’s written in the deal.

“With regards to Jersey, I would remind you, for example, of electricity transmission by underwater cable.

“So, we have the means. Even if I would regret getting to that point, we will if we have to.”

This comes after 41 ships were authorised by the UK on Friday to fish in Jersey’s waters.

However, France is saying that the authorisation came with new demands, “which were not arranged or discussed, and which we were not notified about.”

France claims that the demands set out included where ships can and cannot fish, what machinery that they can use and how long they can spend fishing at sea.

French politician Bertrand Sorre, told the Guardian newspaper that a fishing boat from Granville, which fishes for scallops and whelks “on average 40 days a year” in Jersey’s waters.

Buy Sorre claims that the vessel was told they would only have access for 11 days.

He added, “The anger is roaring and the desire to do battle is palpable.”

Jersey’s External Relations Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said there is no justification for such severe measures.

Gorst told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, “This is not the first threat that the French have made to either Jersey or the United Kingdom since we are into this new deal.

“It would seem disproportionate to cut off electricity for the sake of needing to provide extra details so that we can refine the licences.”

Jersey receives 95% of its electricity from France through three undersea cables.

Government Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News the EU and UK have to “iron out” post-Brexit issues.

Zahawi said, “I think my very strong feeling on this is that we need to work constructively.

“This is an issue for the (European) Commission to work with our team and all the indications from minister (David) Frost and his team is that the Commission is taking seriously some of these operational challenges that we need to fix together.”

A spokesman for the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said, “We have been working closely with the EU and the government of Jersey on fisheries access provisions following the end of the transition period for licensing.”

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