Two days before the deadline for the outcome of negotiations between Brussels and London on fishing in the Channel Islands set for June 30, the Jersey government announced on Monday June 28 that it had accepted the three-month license extension. provisional contracts granted to vessels of the European Union, mainly French. This delay until the end of September had been defended by the French government.
This three-month postponement, requested on May 12 by the French Minister for the Sea, Annick Girardin, should make it possible to bring a little visibility to fishermen and to give time for negotiation. “The government of Jersey proposes to extend by three months the transition period which allows certain French boats to continue fishing in the waters of the bailiwick. [le bailliage de Jersey comprend principalement l’île de Jersey, ainsi que les récifs des Ecréhou et des Minquiers] “, he announced in a press release.
“Recently, the European Union requested an extension of the transition mechanism, which was due to end on June 30 next. The Jersey ministers granted this request with regard to the vessels on behalf of which the European Union has submitted license applications ”, added the government of the Channel Island, the closest to the French coast. So, “From 1er July, the modified transition scheme will allow the 47 vessels equipped with a satellite vessel monitoring system (VMS) and already in possession of a license, as well as a reduced number of small European vessels (177 applications for which the communication of evidence is already underway) to continue fishing in Jersey waters’, according to the same source.
An explosive subject throughout the negotiations on the conditions for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, the access of European fishermen to British waters continues to cause friction despite the agreement on post-Brexit relations found between London and Brussels, in force since 1er January.
“Jersey welcomes the technical and political dialogue initiated with the United Kingdom, the European Union and France with a view to resolving the complex and sensitive issues relating to fisheries”, said Senator Ian Gorst, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jersey, quoted in the press release. At the beginning of May, dozens of Norman and Breton fishing boats had gathered in the port of Saint-Hélier, in Jersey, to express their discontent, causing the dispatch by London of two patrol boats before the situation returned to the order during the day.