Channel Fishing Row: Jersey mocks France over blackout | Politics

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Channel Fishing Row: Jersey mocks France over blackout | Politics


French Fisheries Minister Annick Girardin said the issue had to be resolved “by November 1 after Jersey said 73 vessels would be banned from fishing in their waters if they failed to provide the proper documentation.” Paris said energy exports to the UK and the Channel Islands could be cut or restricted if all French ships do not receive post-Brexit licenses.

Ms. Girardin clarified on Friday that “nothing is excluded” in terms of action “neither from France nor from the European Commission”.
But External Relations Minister Ian Gorst said the island can reactivate its own diesel power plant if needed to provide electricity to the UK.

The British Crown’s dependency reaffirmed its position on the line on Saturday after Ms Girardin entered into close talks with the European Commission.

Mr Gorst said the French threat to cut off electricity in Jersey would be “disproportionate and unprecedented” if carried out.

He added that “we have no other desire than to fulfill our obligations” under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Mr Gorst made it clear: “We want to sit down and solve the problem at hand.

“We fundamentally believe that threats and rhetoric will not solve the problem. “

Mr Gorst also said he had seen no evidence that Jersey had become a pawn in wider post-Brexit battles between Paris and London, including over Northern Ireland and a new contract of submarine with Australia.

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The Channel Islands, including Jersey, are not part of the United Kingdom but depend on Great Britain for their defense.

They joined the UK’s trade deal with the EU when Brexit came into full force on January 1.

Fishing rights for EU vessels in UK waters have been a major obstacle to the deal’s negotiations.

The dispute erupted in May when a flotilla of around fifty French trawlers gathered in front of the port of Saint-Hélier in Jersey.

The protest sparked a tense standoff that even attracted French and British military ships.

These boats have until the end of October to provide the required data, Mr. Gorst specifying that other talks would take place in the coming days, also involving London, Paris and Brussels.

Threats of a new blockade by French ships from Normandy and Brittany also failed to materialize on Friday.

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