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Fishing and Brexit: France is ready for “retaliatory measures” against London – Brexit: fishing in troubled waters


France is ready to resort to “retaliatory measures” with regard to the Anglo-Norman island of Jersey if the British authorities continue to restrict the access of French fishermen to these waters, said Tuesday the Minister of la Mer, Annick Girardin, alluding to possible repercussions on the “transmission of electricity by submarine cable” which supplies the island from France.

“I regret if we had to get there” there but “we will be there if it is necessary to do it”, added the minister in front of the deputies. She said she was “revolted, that’s the word” when she discovered, on the evening of April 30, that new access conditions had been decided “unilaterally” on the British side.

France does not want there to be a precedent

According to his ministry, the United Kingdom on Friday published a list of 41 French vessels authorized to fish in Jersey waters. But with this list comes new requirements “which have not been agreed, discussed or notified before” as part of the UK’s exit agreement from the European Union. “This is completely unacceptable,” insisted the minister. “If we accept it in Jersey, it is dangerous for all of our accesses” to fish-rich British waters, she stressed.

The deputy of the Channel Bertrand Sorre who questioned him cited the example of a fisherman from Granville, used to fishing scallops and whelks “on average 40 days a year” in Jersey waters. He discovered that he could now go there “only eleven days” in 2021 “and only for the shell, disappeared the whelk!” He reported. Among the fishermen, “the anger is roaring and the desire to do battle is palpable,” warned the local elected.

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