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The French government on Tuesday threatened to take retaliatory action against the UK following new conditions imposed on French fishermen off the Channel Islands, which it said was contrary to the post-Brexit trade agreement between Brussels and London.
France is ready to resort to “retaliatory measures” against the Channel Island of Jersey if British authorities continue to restrict French fishermen’s access to its waters, said Tuesday (May 4th). the Minister of the Sea, Annick Girardin.
“These retaliatory measures, we are ready to use them,” she insisted during the questioning session to the government in the National Assembly, alluding to possible repercussions on “the transmission of electricity by cable under -marin “which supplies the island from France.
“I regret if we were to get there” but “we will be there if we have to,” she added.
The minister 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.
>> To read: Brexit: fishing, the eternal poison of relations between the EU and the United Kingdom
According to his ministry, the United Kingdom on Friday published a list of 41 French vessels authorized to fish in Jersey waters. But this list is accompanied by new requirements “which have not been concerted, discussed or notified before” as part of the UK’s exit agreement from the European Union.
“It is completely unacceptable,” said Annick Girardin. “If we accept it in Jersey, it is dangerous for all of our access” to fish-rich British waters, she said.
Manche deputy 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.