Fishing row explodes as French minister threatens ‘retaliatory measures’ against Jersey

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On Tuesday France’s minister of justice, Annick Girardin said: “These retaliatory measures we are ready to use them. I am sorry it has come to this. We will do so if we have to.” She mentioned these retaliatory measures during a questioning session in the French government’s National Assembly.

The French minister alluded to possible repercussions for the “transmission of electricity by cable” to the island of Jersey from the French mainland.

France supplies Jersey with 95 percent of its electricity.

The remaining five percent is provided by on-island diesel generators.

If France were to cut off the island’s electricity then the self-governing British Crown Dependency would face an all-island power cut.

On Friday, the UK authorised 41 French vessels to fish in waters off Jersey.

However, the French fisheries ministry said this was accompanied by new demands “which were not arranged or discussed”.

The ministry added that they were “not notified about” about the new demands beforehand.

The new demands highlight “where the ships can go and cannot go”.

They also explain the number of days fishermen can spend at sea and what machinery they can use.

Ms Girardin said: “This is absolutely unacceptable.

“If we accept this for Jersey, it would imperil our access everywhere.”

Now David Jones, the deputy chairman of the European Research Group of Tory MPs, speaking to The Daily Telegraph said: “This is straightforward demanding money with menaces.

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“This is not the way a 21st-century democratic country behaves.

“The simple fact is this is bullying in order to get the UK to back down on fishing.”

Jersey could ask the UK Government to enforce the new rules for the waters surrounding the island, but no request has yet been made.

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