Brexit LIVE: France ready to cut off electricity in fishing war – ‘Desire to do battle!’

French fisherman warns of 'never-ending war' with Jersey

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New Brexit fishing laws were introduced on Friday, sparking accusations from France that this would limit their own opportunities. The new measures included a new post-Brexit licencing law being issued in Jersey, which means French boats that want to fish in nearby waters need a licence issued by the island’s government. France were given 41 licences to fish in Jersey waters, a number France said was too small.

France hit out at limits on where ships are able to go, as well as how long fishermen can spend at sea and what machinery they can use.

In retaliation, France has now threatened to cut off electricity supply to Jersey, with around 95 percent of power for the Channel Islands coming through three undersea cables from France.

French politician Bertrand Sorre said a vessel from Granville usually fished for scallops and whelks “on average 40 days a year” in Jersey’s waters. He said it would now only have access for 11 days.

He told the Guardian: “The anger is roaring and the desire to do battle is palpable.”

France’s maritime minister Annick Girardin also said the country was “great to use retaliation measures”.

She said: “We are ready to use these retaliation measures.

“Europe, France has the means – that’s written in the deal.

“With regards to Jersey, I would remind you, for example, of electricity transmission by underwater cable. So, we have the means. Even if I would regret getting to that point, we will if we have to.”

A spokesman for the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We have been working closely with the EU and the government of Jersey on fisheries access provisions following the end of the transition period for licensing.”


7.55am update: EU could seek to sow division and ‘break up UK’ if Scotland rejoins, warns economist

Professor David Blake, professor of finance at London’s City University, warned of possible dire consequences ahead for Scots and their fellow Britons if Nicola Sturgeon’s ambitious plan comes to fruition.

Scotland’s First Minister continues to pursue a second independence referendum despite her nation’s deficit tripling to £40billion last year during the Covid crisis.

And she has vowed to tie Scotland to EU rules if voters accept her independence vision and vote to sever ties with Britain.

Prof Blake said if Ms Sturgeon came knocking on Brussels’ door asking to be readmitted the bloc’s bosses could seize it as a unique opportunity to create instability on the UK’s borders.

He said Brussels may welcome Scots back with open arms, but for sinister rather than honest reasons.

He suggested the Europeans could go as far as to station military personnel in Scotland in a bid to intimidate Britons living a few miles away in England and across the water in Northern Ireland.

Asked how he foresees the process of Scotland rejoining the 27-member bloc, Prof Blake told “It all depends on whether the EU sees Scotland as an opportunity to break up the UK.”

7.50am update: EU plots to block UK from joining international treaty 

Documents have shown the European Commission has advised blocking UK from joining an international judicial treaty called the Lugano Convention.

The commission said: The “EU should not give its consent to the accession of the United Kingdom to the Lugano Convention.

“The European Commission considers that the right framework for future cooperation between the European Union and the United Kingdom in the field of civil and commercial matters is provided by the multilateral Hague Conventions instead of the Lugano Convention.”

However, the UK will continue to lobby for the EU to all Britain to be part of it.

A Government spokesperson said: “We maintain that we meet the criteria… this is the right way forward for families, consumers and businesses on both sides facing cross-border legal disputes in the future.”

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