France and the UK are embroiled in a dispute over fishing rights that is escalating on the British Crown dependency of Jersey, just off the French coast.
French fishing boats have gathered at the entrance to St Helier harbour. The UK has sent two Royal Navy patrol boats to protect the Channel Island from a potential French blockade. Fishermen from the continent have complained about being prevented from operating in British waters because of difficulties in obtaining the new paperwork.
Speaking to Parliament on Tuesday, French Minister for the Sea, Annick Girardin, alluded that such measures could involve the “submarine cable transmission of electricity” that supplies the island from France.
The core of the dispute is represented by post-Brexit arrangements for the shared waters in the stretch between France and Jersey. The government of Jersey has the sole power to issue licences, and as of last week all fishing boats were required to have one to operate there.
Although close to the French coast, Jersey is a British Crown dependency, and the British government has branded the French threat unacceptable and disproportionate.
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