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World Jersey urges talks not threats in French fishing row

21:59  16 october  2021
21:59  16 october  2021 Source:   afp.com

Jersey doubts France to carry out 'unacceptable' power cut threat

  Jersey doubts France to carry out 'unacceptable' power cut threat Jersey on Thursday called France's threat to cut power to the British crown dependency over fishing rights "unacceptable" and said it was unlikely to be carried out. Britain has refused to grant all the fishing licences sought by French boats as part of a post-Brexit access deal, leaving Paris furious and fishermen worried for their livelihoods. France this week reiterated a threat that it could cut off electricity to the Channel Islands, which are close to the French coast and depend on France for their electricity.

Jersey's government on Friday appealed for calmer heads to prevail as it works through a list of French fishing boats deprived of access to its waters since the UK quit the EU.

French fishing vessels protest off Jersey in May 2021 © Sameer Al-DOUMY French fishing vessels protest off Jersey in May 2021

The British crown dependency said it had granted licences to another two French vessels, leaving 73 still lacking full data to prove their post-Brexit right to fish in the Channel island's waters.

Those boats have until the end of October to provide the requisite data, and Minister for External Relations Ian Gorst said more talks would occur in the coming days also involving London, Paris and Brussels.

Brexit: France threatens to "reduce" electricity deliveries to Jersey

 Brexit: France threatens to © Stephen Darlington / Flickr Brexit: France threatens to "reduce" electricity deliveries to Jersey the French Secretary of State for Business Europeans still nuanced, admitting that the current would not be cut either. This is the first concrete retort track after ten days of iron arms. Paris has threatened Friday, October 8 to "reduce" its electricity deliveries to Jersey because of the post-Brexit crisis related to fishing.

A French threat to cut off electricity to Jersey would be "disproportionate and unprecedented" if executed, he told reporters.

The island can re-activate its own diesel power station if necessary, but that would be far less climate-friendly than the renewable electricity it receives now from French giant EDF, Gorst said.

France's Fisheries Minister Annick Girardin said that the issue must be solved "by November 1, since the end of October is the deadline for Jersey give to its responses to the requests for licences" from French fishing boats.

"Nothing is ruled out today, neither by France nor the European Commission," she said in Brussels late Friday after meeting with European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic.

Fishing for salmon for first time, teen breaks 43-year-old record

  Fishing for salmon for first time, teen breaks 43-year-old record Luis Martinez, a 19-year-old who had never fished for salmon before, purchased a fishing license on Friday and by the end of Saturday was celebrating having caught a Michigan record for Chinook salmon. Martinez, fishing on Lake Michigan with Icebreaker Charters, landed…Martinez, fishing on Lake Michigan with Icebreaker Charters, landed a 47.86-pound, 47.5-inch Chinook salmon that broke the state record that had stood for 43 years, as reported by the Ludington Daily News and WLNS. The old record was 46.06 pounds and 43.5 inches caught in 1978 in the Grand River in Kent County.

The Commission is negotiating with London on behalf of France, she said.


Video: UK-France Fishing Dispute: French Fishermen angry at uncertain future (Dailymotion)

Jersey's Gorst said that "we have no desire whatsoever other than to meet our obligations."

"We want to sit down and solve the issue in hand. We fundamentally believe that threats and rhetoric won't solve the problem."

The Channel Islands including Jersey are not part of the UK, but depend on it for their defence. They acceded to the UK's trade accord with the EU when Brexit took full effect on January 1.

Fishing rights for EU boats in UK waters were a key stumbling block to negotiations for the accord.

The dispute flared in May when a flotilla of around 50 French trawlers massed in front of the Saint Helier harbour in Jersey.

The protest sparked a tense standoff that even drew in French and British military vessels.

Threats of a new blockade by French boats from Normandy and Brittany had not materialised on Friday, Gorst said.

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

"We shouldn't let bureaucracy come before individual fishermen's livelihoods," the minister said.

"We don't know where that logjam is. We don't think it's useful to point fingers or apportion blame. The most useful thing is we receive the appropriate information."

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France disappointed with fishing talks with UK, more talks scheduled .
France disappointed with fishing talks with UK, more talks scheduledHis remarks appeared to suggest French fishermen were stepping back from threats to hold protests from this weekend over Britain's refusal to grant more fishing licences to their vessels.

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