EU could punish UK over Jersey with France – ‘It’s not over yet’ | Politics

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EU could punish UK over Jersey with France – ‘It’s not over yet’ | Politics


A confrontation between Royal Navy and French Navy patrol boats ended without incident as protesting French fishermen left the waters around the Channel Island on Thursday. It was the threat from the French Minister of Maritime Affairs, Annick Girardin, that France, a NATO ally and defense partner, could cut off Jersey’s electricity supply that sparked outrage. While electricity produced from its own power station in La Collette and backup generators on Queen’s Road would allow Jersey to survive any blockage for about a week, after that it would be ‘turned off’.

Appeasing militant French fishermen isn’t the only problem Macron’s government faces, as France tries to contain a “mix of widespread anti-government unrest” sparked by three controversial new laws.
The Global Security Act proposes to dramatically increase surveillance powers among private, state and security forces and is resented by BLM supporters who claim that it will protect police against cases of brutality; the anti-separatist law, in addition to controlling foreign funding of religious communities, will ban officials from wearing religious symbols, and climate reforms still attract so-called yellow vests protests.

As he tries to keep Marie Le Pen at bay in next year’s presidential elections, critics in France have suggested that attacks on “Perfidious Albion” by Macron, now the most influential leader of the EU in foreign policy, may be necessary.

But last night analysts at Sibylline, a UK threat assessment firm that advises the UK government, said France would soon find itself isolated in Europe if it approved such a move.

“It must be remembered that Annick Girardin’s remarks were not sanctioned by President Macron – indeed, his spokesperson tried to come back to them,” said Louis Cox-Brusseau, European analyst for Sibylline.

“Using extreme tactics such as cutting the jersey; securing energy would be a personal goal. This would lead to serious divisions on the European side> ‘
The EU learned from its “massive missteps” when an attempt to invoke Article 16 on Northern Ireland caused such a division among members that it was quickly abandoned.

He added: “France should only lead until it crosses one of the EU’s red lines and endangers the bloc’s future relations with the UK by interfering with its energy supplies, while Germany sees the UK as a future market for its own energy. companies, would soon see France isolated.

However, the EU has other means at its disposal.

“Last month, France threatened to limit the UK’s access to French financial services, and this was directly linked to fishing problems,” said Alex Lord, UK specialist on Sybilline.

“It just goes to show how vitally important it seems to be in Paris.

“Softer but more far-reaching options such as limiting access to financial services on the continent are where we could see this debate continue, if no resolution is found.

“It is certainly not over.”

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