The British government is sending two naval patrol ships to the shores of Jersey to monitor the situation after a heated debate with France over fisheries regulations in the waters of the region. The island, which has extensive self-governing powers off the coast of Normandy, is not part of the United Kingdom but is one of the overseas territories of the British Crown.
Jersey City recently introduced a new fishing licensing system, citing the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). On this basis, French fishing vessels can obtain a fishing license in the area if they can prove that they have been active in the waters around Jersey in the past.
However, according to the French authorities, the Jersey government had not previously consulted the EU and thus the ruling was invalid under the Technical Assistance Act.
Annick GirardanThe French government’s Minister of Maritime Affairs, in response to the heated debate, made a barely implied signal this week that France could cut off the electricity supply to Jersey. Jersey receives 95 percent of its electricity from France on three submarine cables.
About a hundred French fishing boats reportedly protested in Jersey Harbor on Thursday, although organizers had not considered imposing a blockade on the port. However, the British government announced Wednesday night that two Royal Navy patrol ships will also be at the site, with the aim of observing a display of French fishing vessels.
The BBC reported that London had driven two ships called the Severn (pictured) and the Tamar, stationed in Portsmouth, in southern England, to the island of Jersey. The personnel of the patrol class is 90.5 meters long, with artillery and short-range air defense equipment among their on-board weapons.