Jersey imports the Lion’s share of its power from France via three submarine interconnections. This power is also shared with Guernsey.The conflict arose over the issue of post-Brexit fishing licenses for French fishermen. According to the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), Jersey must issue licenses that match the previous activity a vessel has carried out in Jersey waters. The Jersey government has issued a statement that it has issued licenses that are TCA compliant and in line with data submitted by French and European authorities. Jersey has the exclusive power to issue the licenses.
A total of 41 permits were issued on Friday and as of last week all fishing vessels must now be licensed to operate in Jersey waters. However, the French government claims that the licenses had requirements that had not been discussed before, including the limits of the areas in which they could operate and the number of days per year that they could be active in those waters.
“We are on the side of French fishermen who depend on access to British waters. Our neighbors impose criteria not included in the post-Brexit agreement. The law is formal, conventions must be respected. We will ensure that the agreement signed at the end of 2020 is completed, ” declared Minister Annick Girardin.
With energy threats lodged in the direction of Jersey, concerns have arisen as to whether the conflict will affect the UK’s wider energy supplies from France. The UK is currently supplied by two interconnections AND A
and IFA2with France and the development of a third, ElecLink, is in development. France has already threatened the UK’s energy supply over fishing rights. In October, before the UK left the EU, French President Emmanuel Macron warned of energy embargoes for the UK, blocking its access to the EU energy market following disagreements over fishing activities. At the time, there were fears that if the UK left the EU without a deal, French fishermen would be banned from UK waters.
For more information on interconnection projects around the world, Click here