Jersey 'isn't backing down' on fisheries in says expert
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Island ministers also claimed Paris officials were withholding data for the new licences submitted by French fishermen from British counterparts. A dispute over the licences initially flared in May when France and Britain sent patrol vessels off the shores of Jersey after a flotilla of French fishing boats sailed to the island in protest against the new licence arrangements after the UK left the EU.
An interim agreement had been due to expire on June 30 under the UK’s Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union, but this will now last until September 30 giving vessels from Brenton and Normandy less restrictive access to the British Crown Dependency waters before stricter measures are introduced.
Jersey’s Home Affairs Minister Deputy Gregory Guida claimed the “withhold” approach taken by Paris on licences is a sign the “French are pitting their fishermen against us.”
Deputy Guida, who was appointed to the role last month, said the approach was “a shame” and “very sad”.
UK Justice Minister Lord David Wolfson said he could “not put a timescale” on when a resolution to the row could be reached.
Speaking during a visit to the British Crown Dependency, the Peer added: “There is a process and what we are now doing is that we are in the middle of the process and it is taking a bit of time, that is not entirely surprising but I am confident we will get there.”
Lord Wolfson said a “pragmatic approach” was required between all sides for a swift resolution to be reached.
Under the terms of the Brexit trade deal, French vessels have to show evidence of their history fishing in Jersey waters.
The European Commission who are working with the French Government to resolve the issue this morning denied they were being uncooperative with the UK Government.
“We’re working hard to reach a resolution,” said a Brussels source.
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