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World France threatens to cut electricity to British island in post-Brexit fisheries dispute

06:05  05 may  2021
06:05  05 may  2021 Source:   cnn.com

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France is "ready" to cut electricity to the British island of Jersey -- just off the French coast -- should the United Kingdom not abide by clauses of the Brexit agreement regarding fisheries , French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin said Tuesday.

The French government could cut off the electricity supply to Jersey in an escalating row over post - Brexit fishing rights, a French minister has suggested. Responding to questions in the national assembly, Annick Girardin, the minister for maritime affairs, said she was “revolted” by the UK As such, we have been working closely with the EU and the government of Jersey on fisheries access provisions following the end of the transition period for licensing.” Last week Beaune threatened to stand in the way of access for UK-based financial companies to the EU market if issues over fishing

France is "ready" to cut electricity to the British island of Jersey -- just off the French coast -- should the United Kingdom not abide by clauses of the Brexit agreement regarding fisheries, French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin said Tuesday.

a small boat in a harbor: The village of Saint Aubin, on Jersey, one of the Channel Islands. France has threatened to cut off electricity to the island in a spat over fishing rights. © Allard One/Shutterstock The village of Saint Aubin, on Jersey, one of the Channel Islands. France has threatened to cut off electricity to the island in a spat over fishing rights.

"As you know, the agreement provides for retaliatory measures, and we are ready to use them," Girardin told the French parliament.

Girardin also claimed the Jersey government -- which issued 41 fishing permits to French vessels on April 30 -- had placed "unilateral" restrictions on the trawlers.

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FRANCE is threatening to cut off Jersey’s electricity supply in a row over access to fishing waters. It comes as a new post - Brexit law came into place on the Island on Friday, meaning french boats fishing off Jersey now need a special license from the Jersey government. But this list was accompanied by new demands "which were not arranged or discussed (with France ), and which we were not notified about", the French fisheries ministry said. The new licenses are issued as long as the fisherman can prove they previously fished in Jersey waters at least 10 times in the last three years.

France has threatened to cut off electricity supplies to Jersey in retaliation at 'revolting' post Brexit rules restricting access to British waters. Paris and London have clashed over fishing in recent weeks, as French fishermen say they are being prevented from operating in British waters because of And as a result Maritime Minister Annick Girardin told the French Government they are prepared to use 'retaliation measures,' mentioning consequences involving the underwater cables supplying electricity from France to the largest Channel Island . More than a hundred French fishermen blocked trucks

"Regarding Jersey, I'll remind you, for example, of electricity transportation via undersea cable," she added. "We have means at our disposal. And even if it'd be sad to get to that point, we'll get there if we must."

The self-governing island of Jersey is one of the Channel Islands, sitting just 14 miles off the French coast. While not technically part of the United Kingdom, the islands are crown dependencies, defended and internationally represented by the UK government.

Jersey Electricity, the main electricity provider to the island, says more than 95% of the electricity the island purchases is from France and is transported via submarine cables.

In a statement, Jersey's Minister for External Relations, Sen. Ian Gorst, said the island had been informed by France and the European Union "that they are unhappy with the conditions placed on fishing licenses and fishing in general."

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France has threatened to continuously cut off Jersey’s electricity supply over access to fishing waters. This is because a new law after Brexit came into effect on the island on Friday. Paris and London have been in increasing conflict over the last few weeks as French fishermen say they are being hindered from operating in British waters due to the difficulty in obtaining licenses. Last week, France threatened “retaliation” against Britain if No 10 did not allow fishermen more access to British waters.

The French maritime minister suggested that her government could cut off electricity supplies to the isle of Jersey, amid a deepening row between France and the U.K. over post - Brexit fishing rights. Beaune was due to meet with David Frost, the Brexit minister and former U.K. negotiator, for previously planned talks Tuesday night. Access to bountiful fishing areas located between 6 and 12 nautical miles (11 and 22 kilometers) off the British coast is difficult, and the U.K. hasn’t delivered all the licenses it was meant to, the head of the National Fishing Committee, Jean-Luc Hall, told Bloomberg last week.

"Such complaints are taken very seriously, and the Government will respond in full," Gorst said. "However, the Government of Jersey has acted on legal advice, in good faith, and with due regard to non-discriminatory and scientific principles at every stage of these proceedings."

He added Jersey regretted a recent decision by French local authorities in neighboring Normandy to shut down their representation on the island, saying it was based on a "misunderstanding that can be put right."

"We want to heal the relationship as soon as possible, and we hope the (Normandy authorities) will take the opportunity to reverse the decision," Gorst said.

The UK and EU reached a post-Brexit trade agreement on December 24, which came into force on January 1 when Britain left the EU's single market and customs union.

The Jersey spat is part of an escalating dispute between the EU and the UK over fishing rights, with boats from both sides facing administrative hurdles and being turned away over paperwork.

"It is important that we right away condemn this move, I did so with the (European) Commission, condemning the breach of the Brexit agreement," Girardin said, warning the Jersey move "would set a dangerous precedent for access elsewhere."

Girardin's threat is reminiscent of former French President Charles de Gaulle's blockade against the Principality of Monaco in October 1962 as part of a dispute over taxation.

According to archives from the French Assembly, the move had a "psychological impact" on the local population that feared water, gas and electricity provided by France would be cut. The blockade only lasted a few hours.

U.K. and France deploy naval vessels in spat over fishing rights .
The latest flare-up in the post-Brexit argument over access to territorial waters has hit the U.K.'s own Jersey shore.The incident is just the latest flare-up over the issue after Britain's exit from the European Union.

usr: 2
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