Jersey electricity: what’s going on in Jersey? France threatens to cut electricity | World | New
Anyone who has followed the EU / UK divorce saga will remember that fishing rights were one of the last and biggest sticking points in the Brexit deal. While fishing is a tiny part of the economy of the UK and the EU, it carries tremendous political weight. Taking back control of UK waters was a key part of the Vote Leave campaign in 2016, supported by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Minister Michael Gove. The deal that was struck by the two sides on Christmas Eve last year contained an entire section and several annexes entirely devoted to fisheries. The UK government and the EU have agreed that 25 percent of the former fishing rights in UK waters would be transferred to the UK fishing fleet over a period of five years.
This period is known as the ‘adaptation period’ and is intended to give EU fleets sufficient time to get used to the new arrangements.
The EU wanted the adjustment period to exceed five years, while the UK wanted a shorter period, and according to plans set out in the deal, EU fishing quotas in UK waters will reduce by 15 percent the first year and 2.5 percentage points each year thereafter.
By 2025, UK vessels are expected to have access to an additional Â£ 145million in fishing quotas each year.
When the adjustment period ends on June 30, 2026, annual talks will take place to set the amount that EU fishing fleets can catch in UK waters.
READ MORE: EU Army: 14 states back plans for 5,000-man rapid reaction force
What’s going on in Jersey?
The French government has warned it could cut electricity to Jersey amid a rapidly escalating disagreement over fishing rights after Brexit.
French Maritime Affairs Minister Annick Girardin told Parliament in Paris that the new rules governing access to Channel Islands waters were unacceptable, saying France was “ready to use retaliatory measures”.
Ms. Girardin added: “I’m sorry it has come to this. [but] we will if we have to. “
Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, obtains the vast majority (95%) of its electricity from three submarine cables from France.
A spokesperson for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said: “We are convinced that Jersey is responsible for its own territorial waters.”
Last Friday, the Jersey government granted 41 permits to French fishing vessels equipped with GPS technology.
But the French government says the list of approved vessels was accompanied by additional requests which “were not organized or discussed, and of which we were not informed”.
Ms Girardin said the new rules dictate “where vessels can and cannot go” and limit the number of days fishermen can spend in the area.
The French Fisheries Minister added: “This is absolutely unacceptable, and if we accept this for Jersey, it would jeopardize our access everywhere.”
Last week, France’s European Minister ClÃ©ment Beaune accused Britain of blocking fishing rights in general, saying the EU could respond with “retaliation” across a range of financial services.
At the same time, UK seafood exporters have been hit with an EU ban on UK exports of live crustaceans such as mussels, oysters, clams, cockles and scallops.
The UK has also failed to secure a new fisheries deal with Norway, threatening to prevent UK trawlers from catching cod in Norway’s subarctic territory.