Fishing licenses in the Channel: Paris wants a solution by November 1 with Jersey

The ultimatum becomes clearer. While Clément Beaune, the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, demanded by October 22 “Concrete signals on the issue of licenses” post-Brexit fishery granted by the Anglo-Norman island of Jersey to French fishermen, the Minister of the Sea went further.

After an interview with European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius on Friday, October 15, Annick Girardin declared that she wanted a solution by the 1is November.

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The deadline remains “Obligatorily on 1is November, since at the end of October, it is the last limit for Jersey to give its answers to license requests ” French fishermen, who have until that date to provide him with the required documents, she explained in Brussels.

“We are two weeks away from this decision [de Jersey]. Nothing has been ruled out today, neither by France nor by the European Commission ”, who is negotiating on behalf of Paris with London, said the minister, who will meet with officials from the Channel Island on Monday in Paris.

On Wednesday, France said it would take measures to “Replica”, even of “Retaliation”, “In about eight days” if Jersey did not grant more licenses to French fishermen. In particular, it threatens to reduce its electricity deliveries to the island and to target its key financial services sector.

“The Commission must list the retaliatory measures provided for in the agreement [commercial post-Brexit]. It is obvious that if the Commission does not act, if the United Kingdom and Jersey do not meet the trust, we will have to be able to act on our own. “

Jersey considers threats from Paris “disproportionate”

The post-Brexit agreement, concluded in extremis at the end of 2020 between London and Brussels, provides that European fishermen can continue to work in certain British waters on condition of obtaining a license, granted if they can prove that they were fishing there previously. .

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But the French and the British argue over the nature and extent of the supporting documents – especially for small vessels without a tracking system or new boats having replaced an older vessel.

In the still disputed fishing zones (zone of 6-12 miles from the British coasts and the Channel Islands), London and Jersey have granted a total of some 200 definitive licenses, while Paris is asking for more than 230, including a hundred to Jersey and nearly sixty for the neighboring island of Guernsey.

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Jersey’s local government, responsible for its fishing areas, announced on Friday that it had granted two additional licenses to French fishermen, while calling for calm and judging threats from Paris “Disproportionate”.

The World with AFP

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Fishing licenses in the Channel: Paris wants a solution by November 1 with Jersey