Jersey: Expert on ‘real threat’ of electricity being cut by France
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The fresh threats to the 108,000 citizens of Jersey come as France has demanded the UK give them a further 75 fishing boat licences on top of the 100 already in French fisherman hands. Chaos has erupted as new post-Brexit rules state fishermen have to prove they have already fished in British waters before Brexit to be granted a licence, but many are not submitting the correct documents or simply following the correct procedures.
The threats were issued by head of the Normandy Fisheries Committee, Dimitri Rogoff, who last week claimed that Normandy fishermen were “ready to attack St Helier” over the licences and would cut power supplies to the island.
Reporting from Jersey, GB News reporter Mark White stressed the threats to the people of Jersey by Mr Rogoff and other French ministers are “very real” if we are to believe them.
It comes as the European Affairs minister Clement Beaune told France’s BFM-TV that ”reducing supplies [of electricity to Jersey] is possible”.
But he stressed “cutting the power to every Jersey resident this winter is something that will not happen and something that I do not want”.
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Despite the comments, Mr White slammed how whatever politicians may say, “the islanders see it as bullyboy tactics by the French who are trying to get more licences for their vessels to fish in the waters around Jersey.”
It comes as Paris is furious with London for not granting what they argue is the full number of licences to French fishing boats to fish in British territorial waters.
Speaking to French parliament last Wednesday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex slammed the UK are threatening “bi-lateral relations” over the licences as he argued they don’t give the French enough passes as agreed in the Withdrawal Agreement.
Red-faced Mr Castex screamed: “Great Britain does not respect its own signature!”
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He added how France “will question all of the agreements reached under the supervision of the European Union” as he threatened to drag Britain to the European courts over the chaos.
Mr Castex added how “if needs be” France will also question “bi-lateral collaborations that we have with the United Kingdom in multiple domains” – these include deals on trade, security and migration.
Britain has denied that it has not been playing fairly while UK fishing licensing bodies have hit back claiming that a raft of French fishing boats did not correctly submit the evidence required to prove they have fished in British waters before Brexit.
This is a requirement under the new fishing agreements decided following the Withdrawal Agreement if they wish to continue fishing in the 6- to 12-nautical-mile zone of Britain’s waters.
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While chief Brexit negotiator Lord Frost recently slammed the accusations of the French insisting Britain had been “extremely generous” with the offers, despite the olive branch, French fisherman sparked chaos after they launched a blockade on Jersey ports back in April which resulted in the Royal Navy being scrambled to ease tensions.
UK lawmakers have said it is open to further discussion with the boats it had rejected.
But French fishing industry representatives have threatened a blockade of Calais to disrupt cross-Channel trade alongside threats to the power supply on Jersey.
It comes as patience in Paris has worn thin over what French officials call Britain’s failure to honour its word since Brexit, over fishing and also London’s demand to renegotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol aimed at maintaining the integrity of the EU single market.
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