London on Wednesday announced the deployment of two patrol vessels near Jersey, following French threats of retaliation against the United Kingdom in the post-Brexit conflict between the two countries over fishing in the Channel Islands. On Thursday, about fifty French fishing boats protested in front of the island.
The United Kingdom announced on Wednesday 5 May that it would send two British naval patrol vessels near Jersey, located on the English Channel. France has indicated that it could reduce the supply of electricity to the island, In the context of the post-Brexit conflict over fishing between London and Paris.
France on Tuesday threatened retaliation against Britain following new conditions imposed by British authorities on French fishermen off the Channel Islands. He denounced the terms as contrary to the trade agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom following Brexit.
Since Thursday morning, fifty French fishing boats have gathered in front of Saint-Helier, the capital of the Anglo-Norman island of Jersey, with some blocking the port to protest the fishing conditions imposed on French sailors.
On Wednesday, Dmitry Rockoff, chairman of the Normandy Regional Fisheries Committee, promised that this was not a question of blocking Saint-Helier, but “a sign of opportunity.” “There is no question of attacking (…) showing himself, showing that the fishermen are determined, supporting what is being demanded, and then the words coming from the minister are very bad comments anyway,” he told the AFP.
After talking to Jersey’s representatives about the hypothesis of a French siege, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reaffirmed his “unwavering support” for the island. He also outlined the “urgent need to increase tensions”, a spokesman for the British president said. “As a precaution, the UK will send two patrol vessels to monitor the situation,” the spokesman added.
French Maritime Minister Anne Girard expressed her “disgust” on Tuesday when she learned that the island of Jersey had been granted licenses with unilateral conditions, including a restriction on French fishermen access to its waters.
As for Paris, the United Kingdom on Friday released a list of 41 French vessels, 344 of which have been approved for fishing in Jersey waters, but the list includes new requirements that have not been “consolidated, discussed or announced before” 1 as part of the Brexit Treaty between London and BrusselsThere is Last January.
“In the (post-Brexit) agreement, there are retaliatory measures and we are ready to use them,” he declared before the National Assembly, “for example, the transfer of electricity by cable under-sailor to Jersey.”
The island, home to 108,000 people, imports 95% of its electricity from France, according to data from energy expert S&P Global Plots.
Reuters and AFP