LONDON – BRUSSELS – The delicate fishing issue has once again created tensions between the European Union and the United Kingdom. Two British Navy ships and two French Navy ships patrolled the waters around the island of Jersey, a Crown territory 14 miles off the coast of Normandy, while some sixty French fishing boats congregated in front of Port St. Helier to protest the new ship. British restrictions on fishing, which Paris considers contrary to the agreements.
Challenging new fishing conditions
The post-Brexit rules agreement requires that European fishermen be able to access British waters, provided they obtain a British fishing license. For some time, French fishermen complained of the British side about the administrative slowness of granting permission. In addition, on Friday 30 April, the British authorities sent the European Commission new and special requirements for fishing in the waters around Jersey, an island with a population of approximately 107,000.
“It is specific to fishing and hunting areas,” explains one community advocate. These are acceptable conditions if they are based on scientific criteria. We want to check carefully that they are. We do not want them to discriminate against European Hunters. Moreover, information about the new fishing conditions was sent to us just two hours before it came into effect. this is not true “.
According to France’s punitive requirements
According to the French government, the hunting licensing requirements revealed by the Jersey government last week are more complex and punitive than expected, and the green light has not been given to dozens of fishermen. In response to the failure to solve the problem, Minister of Maritime Affairs Annick Girardin threatened to cut off electricity to the island as electricity reached Jersey via French and British submarine cables. The “Tabloid” newspaper pointed out that “even the Nazis during the occupation never threatened to cut off the electricity.”
After stress, common sense returns
It does not take much to awaken the never-resolved tensions between Great Britain and France, which Brexit has already helped ignite. However, after the protests and threats, common sense seems to prevail. On Thursday afternoon, French fishing boats left the area. Both sides said dialogue is the best way to resolve the dispute. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he only sent naval vessels to “monitor the situation” without interference, although he expressed his full solidarity with the Jersey authorities.