France has threatened to cut Jersey’s electricity supply in a fight for post-Brexit fishing rights.
French leaders have accused the UK of using red tape to limit fishing, in violation of the deal reached with the EU last year.
French Maritime Affairs Minister Annick Girardin said of the potential power cuts: “We are ready to use these retaliatory measures.
“Europe, France has the means – it is written in the agreement.
“Regarding Jersey, I will remind you, for example, of the transmission of electricity by submarine cable. So we have the means. Even if I would regret getting to this point, we will do it if it does. should.”
According to Jersey Electricity, around 95% of the electricity in Britain’s self-sufficient Crown dependency comes from three submarine cables from France, with the remainder supplied by diesel generators on the island.
On Friday 41 vessels were cleared by the UK to fish in the waters off Jersey but France said this clearance was accompanied by new requests “which have not been settled or discussed, and which we do not know about. ‘we have not been informed “.
The requirements spell out where vessels can and cannot go, how long fishermen can spend at sea and what machinery they can use, they added.
In comments reported by The Guardian, French politician Bertrand Sorre said a vessel from Granville, which catches scallops and whelks “on average 40 days a year” in Jersey waters, had been told it did not ‘would only have access to it for 11 days.
He added: “The anger is brewing and the desire to fight is palpable.”
Ms Girardin said it was “absolutely unacceptable”, adding: “If we accept this for Jersey it would jeopardize our access everywhere”.
Government Minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News that the EU and UK must “sort out” any post-Brexit issues.
“I think my very strong feeling about this is that we have to work constructively,” he said.
“It is a problem for the (European) Commission to work with our team and all indications from Minister (David) Frost and his team are that the Commission is taking seriously some of these operational challenges which we must solve together.”
A spokesperson for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said Jersey was responsible for its own territorial waters and the management of fisheries in them, but the UK was responsible for international relations of Crown Dependencies.
“We have worked closely with the EU and the Jersey government on access to fishing arrangements after the end of the transition period for licensing,” the spokesperson added.