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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The UK sends patrol ships to Jersey after fisheries conflict with France 

On Wednesday, a Downing Street spokesman said that two British offshore patrol vessels will be sent to the island of Jersey, and this will happen due to amid an escalating row over fisheries with France.  

This decision, about sending offshore patrol vessels, was taken as a result of a discussion about the prospect of a blockade of Jersey between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and local officials, the statement read. 

But the blockade only lasted a few hours, since French maritime minister Annick Girardin threatened to cut electricity to the island of Jersey, which receives 95% of its electricity from France, and it is transported via submarine cables. However, this threatening from Girardin came after the island restricted fishing boat access. 

‘Regarding Jersey, I’ll remind you, for instance, of electricity transportation via undersea cable, we have meant at our disposal and even if it would be sad to get to that point, we will get there if we must,’ Girardin warned Jersey on Tuesday. 

Jersey’s Minister for External Relations, Ian Gorst, said that the island is informed about France and the EU not being happy with the conditions placed on fishing licenses or fishing in general. 

Gorst said in a statement that these complaints are taken seriously and that Jersey regretted a recent decision by French local authorities in neighboring Normandy, which was to shut down their representation on the island. 

“We want to heal the relationship as soon as possible, and we hope the Normandy authorities will take the opportunity to reverse the decision,” Gorst added. 

The move of the Girardin made a psychological impact on the local population of Jersey that feared the cut of electricity, water, and gas provided by France and that is why the blockade lasted only a few hours. 

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