A “battle” in the English Channel looms as France threatens to cut off Jersey’s electricity for fishing rights

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A “battle” in the English Channel looms as France threatens to cut off Jersey’s electricity for fishing rights


France has threatened to cut Jersey’s electricity supply in a fight for post-Brexit fishing rights.

French leaders have accused the UK of using red tape to limit fishing, in violation of the deal reached with the EU last year.

French Maritime Affairs Minister Annick Girardin said of the potential power cuts: “We are ready to use these retaliatory measures.

“Europe, France has the means – it’s written in the agreement.

“With regard to Jersey, I will remind you, for example, of the transmission of electricity by submarine cable. So we have the means. Although I would regret getting to this point, we will if we have to. “

According to Jersey Electricity, around 95% of the electricity in Britain’s self-sufficient Crown dependency comes from three submarine cables from France, with the remainder supplied by diesel generators on the island.

On Friday, 41 vessels were cleared by the UK to fish in waters off Jersey but France said this clearance was accompanied by new requests “which have not been arranged or discussed, and which we have no ‘we have not been informed’.

The requests specify where vessels can and cannot go, how long fishermen can spend at sea and what machinery they can use, they added.

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On Friday, 41 vessels were cleared by the UK to fish in the waters off Jersey. File Image

In comments reported by The Guardian, French politician Bertrand Sorre said a fisherman from Granville, who catches scallops and whelks “on average 40 days a year” in Jersey waters, had been told that there would only be access for 11 days.

He added: “The anger is brewing and the desire to fight is palpable. “

Ms Girardin said it was “absolutely unacceptable”, adding: “If we accept this for Jersey it would jeopardize our access everywhere”.

A spokesperson for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said Jersey was responsible for its own territorial waters and the management of fisheries in them, but the UK was responsible for international relations of Crown Dependencies.

“We have been working closely with the EU and the Jersey government on access to fishing arrangements after the end of the transition period for licensing,” the spokesperson added.

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