By Ron Howells • 05 May 2021 • 22:17
UK Navy Dispatches Gun Boats To Monitor Jersey Post-Brexit Fishing Row With French Fisherman.
Boris Johnson has dispatched two Royal Navy patrol boats to protect Jersey from a feared naval blockade by French fishing vessels, in an escalation of a dispute over post-Brexit access to waters around the Channel island- Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, and sits between England and France.
The move followed talks on Wednesday, May 5, evening between the prime minister and the chief minister of the British crown dependency, John Le Fondré, who had warned Downing Street of imminent movements by French fishing boats to cut off the island’s main port.
Jersey’s government had already been reeling from comments on Tuesday from France’s minister for maritime affairs, Annick Girardin, who had warned that the island’s electricity supply could be turned off in retaliation over a lack of access for the French fishing fleet to its waters.
‘Cod War’ Memories
The mobilisation of the Royal Navy echoes the Cod Wars of the 1970s when there were violent clashes on the high seas between British vessels and Icelandic fishers.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “This evening the prime minister spoke to the chief minister of Jersey and the minister of external affairs, Ian Gorst, about the prospect of a blockade of Saint Helier. The prime minister and chief minister stressed the urgent need for a de-escalation in tensions and for dialogue between Jersey and France on fishing access.”
Jersey’s foreign affairs minister Ian Gorst also vented fury, saying ‘it is not the first threat that France has made’ over fisheries, and warning the ‘confusing’ EU trade agreement had caused the feud.
Mr. Gorst said the argument boils down to just 17 licences granted to French fishermen on Friday last week, which they feel restrict their historic rights to fish in the waters off Jersey – which sits just 14 miles from the French coast.
He said the fishermen have simply failed to provide enough data about their historic fishing routes, and that as soon as the data is provided the licenses will be updated to allow them access.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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