Jersey was threatened with sanctions by the European Union after it used Brexit powers to prevent French fishing boats.
BRUSSELS has vowed to penalize Jersey unless the post-Brexit issue over fishing rights is settled, according to reports.
According to minutes from a crucial meeting between UK and EU officials recently leaked, eurocrats threatened that the Crown dependency’s market access to the bloc would be reviewed. This could result in the imposition of punitive trade duties on goods exported from the UK to EU member states. Jersey was at the center of one of the most acrimonious post-Brexit spats to date, with French officials threatening to cut off the island’s power supply if it did not allow French trawlers access to its waters.
The problem was highlighted at the most recent meeting of the UK-EU Partnership Council, which manages the post-Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which took place on June 9.
The threats made by their EU counterparts over the disagreement are detailed in minutes released by the British government yesterday.
“The EU reaffirmed the need of making the Fisheries heading work for the benefit of all parties involved,” the paper added. “More time was needed to clarify problems concerning licenses in Jersey asking an extension of temporary licenses that were due to expire at the end of June.”
“The EU highlighted that, under the TCA, access to the EU market for goods from Jersey was tied to EU access to Jersey’s seas, and that the Parties had a responsibility to find solutions.”
While negotiations continue, Jersey authorities agreed to extend licenses to allow “some French vessels” to continue fishing in the Channel island’s waters.
A three-month extension was granted until the end of the month, with further difficult negotiations expected until the eleventh hour.
The Jersey administration claimed in June that the EU has recently requested an extension to the transitional arrangements, which were set to expire on June 30.
“Ministers in Jersey have agreed to the request.”
Before obtaining a license under the new post-Brexit fishing restrictions, French vessels must present evidence demonstrating that they have previously fished in Jersey’s seas.
However, French officials complained that new requirements were imposed without warning, and that many of their fishermen operate in small boats that lack the technological equipment needed to transmit the information.
Due to the current amnesty, there will be a pause on setting till the end of September. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”