Britain sends warships to French fishermen

The British government is sending two marine 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 vast self-governing powers off the coast of Normandy, is not part of the United Kingdom but is one of the outermost territories of the British Crown.

The municipality of Jersey recently introduced a new fishing licensing system, citing the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). On this basis, French fishing vessels could obtain a fishing license in the area if they could demonstrate that they were active in the waters around Jersey in the past.

However, according to the French authorities, the Jersey government had not previously consulted the European Union 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 tacit indication 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 were reported to have protested in the Jersey port on Thursday, although the organizers did not consider a blockade of the port. However, the British government announced on Wednesday night that two Royal Navy patrol ships would also be at the site, with the aim of monitoring a display of French fishing vessels.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that London had piloted two ships called Severn (pictured) and Tamar stationed in the port of Portsmouth in southern England to the island of Jersey. The patrol class is 90.5 meters long, with artillery and short-range air defense equipment among their weapons on board.

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