Two Royal Navy ships have begun patrolling the waters of Jersey after Boris Johnson was sent into deeper rows between the UK and France over fishing rights.
In the wake of the dispute, France has threatened to cut off its power supply to the Channel Islands, demanding that ships be equipped with surveillance devices and meet other criteria for obtaining a license.
This disagreement has arisen amid more general complaints from French fishermen about obtaining the necessary licenses to fish in British coastal waters. Addressing a problem The European Union-UK trade deal hit last year.
Downing Street reported Wednesday evening that Johnson had spoken with the Jersey chief minister and foreign minister about the threat posed by French fishermen to block the port of St. Helier.
The Prime Minister emphasized his unwavering support for Jersey. He said any blockade would be completely unfair, “said a spokesman. “The UK will send two offshore patrol ships to monitor the situation as a precautionary measure.”
The craft is River-Class HMS Copper and HMS Severn.
Dmitry Rogoff, head of the fisheries department in the Normandy region, told the AFP news agency that about 100 French fishing ships had sailed to St. Helier on Thursday morning in protest of the license, but said they would not try to blockade the port and would return. France in the afternoon.
Brussels, meanwhile, has intervened in the dispute and called on Britain to adhere to the terms of access to water in the vicinity of Jersey.
According to the two men briefed on the issue, the European Commission has asked the UK government for clarification on the addition of special conditions to fishing licenses in Jersey and requested that they not be enforced in the meantime.
The letter, sent Tuesday, said the UK should have warned Brussels about any additional conditions associated with obtaining a license under the terms of the “Trade and Cooperation Agreement” signed by Britain and the EU last year.
Brussels said in a letter that any such requirement should be science-based and discriminatory. According to people briefing the public on the content of the letter, the terms should not be applied until Britain has shown that they are justified on their grounds, it added.
A spokesman for the commission said Brussels had made it clear to the UK that EU-UK TCA provisions had not been respected.
“Unless the UK authorities provide further justification for the new situation, this new condition should not be applied,” the spokesman said. “The Commission has been in close contact with France and the United Kingdom on this issue.”
If the EU reserves some EU fishing rights in waters near the Channel Islands that violate the spirit of the treaty, Brussels has the option to open formal dispute resolution processes with Europe on the terms of a trade agreement between the two sides. .
Jersey, the largest member of the archipelago and a British crown dependent, receives 95 percent of its water from France by electricity under the cable. Its foreign policy is governed by the UK, which means it is considered a third country by the EU.
French Maritime Minister Enrique Girardin told the French parliament on Tuesday that he was “rebellious” that Jersey had issued 41 fishing licenses that included conditions and specific criteria that were “decided unilaterally and without explanation”.
“It’s unacceptable,” he told lawmakers. “We are ready to take revenge. . . As for the jersey, I’ll remind you of the transmission of electricity by submarine cable. “Girardin added that he would” regret “any action, but” if we have to, we will. “
French fishermen and ministers have been complaining for two weeks about the difficulty of accessing British waters despite a fisheries agreement late last year.
Anger among French fishermen over delays in obtaining fishing licenses in the UK has prompted Landy in Europe to barricade fish landing in the UK.
Clement Beaune, France’s junior minister for European affairs, threatened last week that EU financial institutions would be allowed to do business in the EU if Britain did not respect him. Bracey Promise to fish
Bertrand Thor, a Member of Parliament for La Repubblica en March, led by President Emmanuel Macron, shared the example of a fisherman from Granville, Normandy. The man had previously fished for the scallop and wheellock for an average of 40 days a year beyond the jersey, but was told he would only be able to fish for 11 days this year, and only for the scallop.
Jersey’s External Affairs Minister Ian Garst said the island had been issued licenses under the UK’s Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union and that the new government would “take time to coordinate all”.
“If French fishermen want to submit further evidence to the authorities, we will update the licenses to reflect that evidence.”
The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We are clear that Jersey is responsible for its own territorial waters.”
UK Business Minister Nadhim Jahawi has called on both sides to “iron out” issues related to fishing. “We need to look at it urgently and the best way to solve this is to work together,” he told Sky News.
A UK government spokesman said: “Threatening Jersey in this way is clearly unacceptable and unnecessary.”
“We are working closely with the EU and Jersey on fisheries access provisions at the end of the transition period, so trust [that] The French will use our new treaty procedures to solve the problem. “
The controversy also came at a time when the United Kingdom and the EU were negotiators Discuss 2021 category quotas For shared fishing stock.