The UK is sending two Royal Navy boats to Jersey “as a precaution” after threats of a French blockade of the island’s important port over a post-Brexit fishing row.
Downing Avenue confirmed Boris Johnson spoke to Chief Minister of Jersey Senator John Le Fondre on Wednesday night “concerning the prospect of a blockade of Saint Helier” – the island’s important city.
“The prime minister and chief minister confused the pressing want for a de-escalation in tensions and for dialogue between Jersey and France on fishing entry,” a Downing Avenue spokesman mentioned.
“The prime minister underlined his unwavering assist for Jersey. He mentioned that any blockade could be fully unjustified. As a precautionary measure the UK will likely be sending two Offshore Patrol Vessels to observe the state of affairs.
“They agreed the UK and Jersey governments would proceed to work intently on this challenge.”
France earlier threatened to chop the island’s electrical energy off and French fishermen threatened to blockade the primary port of St Helier to forestall provides from being delivered.
French officers additionally mentioned they are going to be closing their Channel Islands’ workplaces and can cease importing Jersey merchandise into France.
France accused the UK of utilizing crimson tape to restrict fishing round Jersey, in breach of the Brexit settlement made with the EU final yr, and mentioned it’s “prepared to make use of these retaliation measures”.
“As regards to Jersey, I’d remind you, for instance, of electrical energy transmission by underwater cable. So, we’ve the means,” French maritime minister Annick Girardin mentioned.
The UK’s surroundings and meals secretary George Eustice mentioned the row was about 17 French fishing vessels which have failed to supply the info wanted for Jersey to grant them a licence to fish in its waters.