The UK has sent two Royal Navy boats to Jersey after France threatened to deploy a blockade of the island’s main port over a post-Brexit fishing row.
The tensions started afterJersey, a self-governing British Crown dependency off the coast of France, required fishing boats to submit further details before the licenses can be granted.
French maritime minister Annick Girardin accused Jersey yesterday of refusing to issue licenses.
The HMS Severn and HMS Tamar were deployed to waters around Jersey where French fishing fleets have been holding a protest.
Angered by the strict new fishing conditions that had been imposed following Brexit, French fishermen said they were ready to “restage the Battle of Trafalgar” because the new regulations could force two-thirds of them out of business.
At least 70 French fishing boats have massed off-shore and fired flares in protest of the reduced post-Brexit fishing rights near Jersey island’s main port of Saint Helier.
A few hours after the UK sent out Severn and Tamar, FS Athos and FS Thémis arrived in the area after sailing from the River Seine.
France warned of other retaliatory measures including cutting off Jersey’s electricity supply which comes from the French mainland through undersea cables.
The UK Defense Ministry said the deployment was a precautionary measure while Downing Street has called for talks to de-escalate tensions.
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