Thursday, September 30, 2021

France Warns UK of ‘Retaliation’ as Jersey Braces for Blockade in Fishing Row - FARS

 (FNA)- Jersey’s government is bracing itself for a blockade of its main port by angry fishers and France announced it would look at “retaliation measures” after a third of French boats applying to fish in the Channel island’s waters were turned down.

The French Maritime Minister, Annick Girardin, said France and the EU would work on potential responses over the next two weeks unless the UK was able to resolve the dispute quickly, The Guardian reported.

Paris is considering measures that would involve energy and trade, as well as train connections and British students living in France, she noted after a meeting with fishing representatives. She called on other European countries to show solidarity “because what France is going through today, some others will also go through it”.

The French Government Spokesman, Gabriel Attal, stated the decisions by the UK and Jersey authorities were “totally unacceptable and inadmissible” and “contravene the agreement that was signed in the framework of Brexit”.

“We are going to continue and step up our work with the [European] Commission to move forward on this issue, and also to study possible retaliation measures that could be taken if the agreement is not respected,” he added.

Jersey’s minister for external affairs, Ian Gorst, insisted that its government had taken a “pragmatic” approach in issuing 64 full licences and 31 temporary licences to French boats, on top of the 47 vessels already licensed earlier this year.

But a further 75 French boats for whom applications had been received were rejected as “they do not meet the criteria and have either not fished in Jersey waters during the relevant period or have not been able to evidence their activity”, the government said, adding, “These 75 vessels are being given 30 days’ notice of the end of the transitional arrangements, after which they will no longer be able to access Jersey waters.”...

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