Jersey is a territory of Great Britain. More than 50 fishing boats closed the harbor on Thursday in protest of the fishing conditions of French fishermen after Brexit.
The British Ministry of Defense sent two armed patrol boats to an island in Jersey, saying it was “a strict precautionary measure agreed with the Jersey government”.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for increased tensions and said the siege of the port would not be justified.
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Reuters quoted Jersey Foreign Representative Ian Korst as saying that island officials had agreed to meet with protesters’ representatives.
Earlier, French Maritime Affairs Minister Annie Gordin said France was ready to take “retaliatory action” if British authorities banned French fishermen from entering the Jersey Sea.
Among other things, the island is in danger of failing because 95% of its population is in Jersey. Electricity is available from France by submarines.
A controversy has erupted over the new licensing system for French fishing boats. For this organization French boats must have a history of fishing in Jersey waters. However, French officials said the “new technological measures” related to fishing off the coast of the Channel Islands had not been transferred to the EU, meaning they were “wrong”.
Of the 344 applications submitted, the United Kingdom last week released a list of 41 French vessels authorized to fish in Jersey waters.
On Thursday, the European Commission called for a peaceful solution to the conflict.
We call for restraint, peace and dialogue, “said Vivian Lonella, spokeswoman for the European Commission for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, in Brussels.
The Commission partially agrees with France’s position and considers that new rules for licensing ships should be discussed in advance.
We explained to the British side that the terms of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK were not respected. Under its subdivisions, any new requirements governing the activities of fishermen in British waters shall not be discriminatory. In addition, other parties should be notified in advance to evaluate and respond to the proposed measures, he said.