A spit between London and Paris over the lack of fishing licenses that Jersey has given French fishermen can be resolved through the proper pleading of the UK and EU Brexit agreement, the French Foreign Ministry has said.
“We want the situation to be quickly blocked through the full implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which will allow continued access to British waters for fishermen who worked in those waters before Brexit.” said a spokesman for the ministry.
“This is our only goal and we will mobilize all the levers to preserve the fisheries sector and let it continue its activities.”
Tensions escalated this week due to Jersey’s refusal to grant 17 French fishing vessels post-Brexit licenses, with officials saying they had not provided the correct data for their applications.
France’s maritime minister suggested earlier this week that Paris could be prepared to cut power to the Channel Islands in retaliation for the licensing issue.
On Thursday, Britain sent two Royal Navy boats to the island to guard the Crown dependency’s main port, Saint Helier, where as many as 60 French fishing boats protested the lack of licenses.
France also sent its own military patrol vessels to the area. The fishing fleet has now been withdrawn, and the British Prime Minister’s Office said on Thursday night that the British naval boats are getting ready to return home.
“We are delighted that French fishing boats have now left Jersey. Given that the situation is resolved for the time being, RN Offshore Patrol Vessels will prepare to return to the UK port. “ said a Downing Street spokesman.
Jersey licensing authorities have insisted they have acted within the law, but on Thursday Vivian Loonela, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, said there was “Additional conditions” to the licenses.
She said Brussels had informed London that the provisions of the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement signed in December had done so. “Not met” and is “Not respected.”
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