Andrew Maxill and Richard Luff
LONDON / PARIS (Reuters) – The United Kingdom announced on Wednesday that it was sending two British naval patrol vessels near Jersey on the English Channel, in the wake of the post-Brexit fishing dispute in London and Paris, following France’s suggestion that it could reduce its supply to the island of Brexit.
France on Tuesday threatened retaliation against Britain following new conditions imposed by British authorities on French fishermen off the Channel Islands. He condemned the conditions under the Brexit trade agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom.
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.
When French Maritime Minister Annie Girard expressed her “disgust” on Tuesday, she learned that the island of Jersey had been granted licenses with unilateral conditions – including a long limit on French fishermen’s access to its waters.
“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.
In Jersey, the government indicated that France and the European Union had expressed their dissatisfaction with the conditions imposed on fishing licenses, but promised to respect the terms of the post-Brexit agreement.
“We have entered a new era and it will take time to fix everything. Jersey has continued to show its determination to find a smooth transition to the new regime,” Island Foreign Minister Ian Korst said in a statement.
(French version by Jean Tertian)