New Brexit fishing laws were introduced on Friday, sparking accusations from France that this would limit their own opportunities. The new measures included a new post-Brexit licencing law being issued in Jersey, which means French boats that want to fish in nearby waters need a licence issued by the island’s government. France were given 41 licences to fish in Jersey waters, a number France said was too small.
France hit out at limits on where ships are able to go, as well as how long fishermen can spend at sea and what machinery they can use.
In retaliation, France has now threatened to cut off electricity supply to Jersey, with around 95 percent of power for the Channel Islands coming through three undersea cables from France.
French politician Bertrand Sorre said a vessel from Granville usually fished for scallops and whelks “on average 40 days a year” in Jersey’s waters. He said it would now only have access for 11 days.
He told the Guardian: “The anger is roaring and the desire to do battle is palpable.”
France’s maritime minister Annick Girardin also said the country was “great to use retaliation measures”.
She said: “We are ready to use these retaliation measures.
“Europe, France has the means – that’s written in the deal.
“With regards to Jersey, I would remind you, for example, of electricity transmission by underwater cable. So, we have the means. Even if I would regret getting to that point, we will if we have to.”
A spokesman for the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “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.”
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