Two naval patrol vessels are being sent ashore by the British government to monitor the situation following a heated debate with France over fisheries regulations in the region’s seas. The island, which has extensive autonomous powers off the coast of Normandy, is not part of the United Kingdom, but one of the outermost parts of the British Crown.
The Jersey Municipality recently introduced a new fishing licensing system that cites the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). On this basis, if it is possible to prove that French fishing vessels have been active in the waters around Jersey in the past, a fishing license can be obtained in that area.
However, according to French officials, the Jersey government did not consult the EU in advance, so this provision does not apply under the TCA.
Annik GirardinIn response to the heated debate, the French government’s Minister of Maritime Affairs gave an implicit hint this week that France could cut off Jersey’s power supply. Jersey gets 95 percent of its electricity needs from France on three submarine cables.
About a hundred French fishing boats are said to have protested in the port of Jersey on Thursday, although the siege of the port was not expected by the organizers. However, the British government announced on Wednesday night that two Royal Navy patrol vessels would be at the scene, with the aim of monitoring the demonstration of French fishing vessels.
The BBC reports that London has ordered ships called the Severn (pictured) and Tamar to the island of Jersey in the port of Portsmouth in the south of England. The members of this patrol class are 90.5 meters long, with artillery and short-range air defense equipment in their internal arsenal.