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Britain launched two warships against French fishermen

Seventeen fishing boats ran aground on Britain and France, but the London government also sent two warships to the Channel at dawn on Thursday.

The conflict has been exacerbated by two interpretations of the Brexit rules. Since Britain left the EU, there have been a number of complex methods for calculating where and to what extent European fishermen have access to the British Ocean. Although fisheries provide a very small part of the economies of the countries concerned, they also play a key political role in France, Belgium, Denmark and the United Kingdom, along with their strong unions, spectacular demonstrations and symbolic industries.

One of the ships sent by the British to the scene was the HMS Severn.Photo: GLYN KIRK / AFP

Now the heated debate began with the management of the island of Jersey in the Channel, which is owned by Britain, but is closer to the French coast one by one, and which French fishing vessel has the right to fish off the island again this year? .

In order to obtain a license, French ships had to prove that they had a “historic right” to fish – their vessel had been fishing for at least ten days in a 12-month period over the past three years. Anyone who proves this will be given a beacon identification system to place on fishing vessels longer than 12 meters, after which the British will leave them alone.

Of the applicants, 41 vessels were licensed in the current season, but 17 vessels were rejected. According to Jersey officials, exactly, according to French fishermen, unfair.

Port of St. Helier, Jersey.Photo: OLI SCARFF / AFP

Since then, the situation has escalated:

French fishermen announced on Thursday that they would be marching a hundred boats from the port of Jersey in front of St. Helier.

The Jersey leadership fears the march will be a siege and fishermen want to isolate the island from the outside world, so the island’s prime minister, John Le Fondre, has warned the London government.

Aid arrived immediately, two small warships were sent to the island, and HMS. Severn and HMS Tamar has been guarding the Jersey coast since Thursday.

The French government’s Minister of Maritime Affairs also got into the debate: Annie Gordin said the island would be without electricity if Jersey fishermen were treated unfairly. They can do this because they get electricity from France via three submarine cables from Jersey.

In response, a local oil mill was placed on standby on the island of Jersey so that electricity would be available even if the French closed them down. It will be more expensive and polluting than the current system, but it will not darken the island, local leaders promise.

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