Britain has sent two Royal Navy escort ships to patrol the waters of the island of Jersey, 20 km from France, in light of a dispute between the two countries over fishing rights after Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Paris responded by publishing two French patrol ships in a location not far from the island, and the French Minister of State for European Affairs Clémon Beaune stated that British moves in the English Channel would not frighten the French, he said.
France, which supplies the island of Jersey with about 95% of its need for electricity, has threatened to cut off supplies to the island of Britain if French fishermen are not allowed to work in its waters.
On Thursday, the French Minister of the Sea, Annick Girardin, called on the British authorities to cancel the restrictions.
Dozens of French fishing boats gathered in the vicinity of “St. Helier” – the capital of the Channel Island in Jersey – to protest the conditions imposed by London on French fishing boats.
For his part, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for a reduction of tension, stressing his support for the British Crown Island.
“A boat that was fishing last year in Jersey could fish this year as well,” said Assistant Secretary of the Environment and Foreign Affairs in Jersey Gergorie Ghida on Thursday morning.
“Given the difficulties, what we are ready to do is to engage directly with the fishermen, as they all have our numbers,” he added, criticizing “excessive bureaucracy.”