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French Sea Minister reveals action plan to get “my licences back”

French Sea Minister reveals action plan to get “my licences back”

Thursday 07 October 2021

French Sea Minister reveals action plan to get “my licences back”

Thursday 07 October 2021

France’s Maritime Minister says she will be meeting with EU fishing leaders in Luxembourg next week to devise a campaign to punish Jersey and the UK as part of her 15-day “plan of action” to “get my licences back."

One day after raising the Channel Island power cut threat again, French political officials yesterday came together to discuss tactics and potential retaliatory measures if Jersey, Guernsey and the UK don’t provide every one of the desired post-Brexit fishing licences.

Last week, Jersey announced that up to 95 small boats could be given a licence to fish in its waters, but told 75 boats that they did not meet the criteria and had 30 days’ notice to stop fishing around Jersey and its reefs.

A document shared in yesterday’s meeting of French regional representatives and mayors identified the need to provide data about where boats had fished previously under the licensing regime as a key “blockage."

It said that smaller boats under 12m were struggling because they often lacked tracking systems, so France had tried to provide alternative justifications.

Following the meeting, Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin did not reveal exactly what retaliatory measures were being discussed but simply wrote: “We are determined to succeed. #IWantMyLicensesBack [sic].”

At the meeting was European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune, who on Tuesday alluded to cutting electricity to the Channel Islands again,

Meanwhile, President of the Hauts-de-France fishing committee Olivier Lepretre, who met with Mme. Girardin last week, this week suggested “blocking the port of Calais and exports to the United Kingdom for the period leading up to Christmas."

Whatever form such retaliatory action takes will be revealed by the end of this month, according to Mme. Girardin's 15-day bid to “obtain definitive fishing licences in the standoff with the UK”, which she made public for the first time yesterday.

Having already launched a "communications offensive" and held various Ministerial meetings in line with the plan, the next steps are:

  • Monday 11 October - meeting in Luxembourg with European fishing ministers to prepare a list of retaliatory measures;

  • TBC - meeting in Brussels with the European Fishing Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius to discuss retaliatory measures;

  • TBC - meeting with professionals and elected representatives from each region;

  • second half of October – announcing the European and French response.

“The plan of action is clear: assemble our partners and initiate the necessary retaliatory action!” Mme. Girardin said.

French MEP and President of the European Fisheries Committee, Pierre Karleskind responded by pledging his support to the campaign, adding that he had spoken to the Fisheries Commissioner earlier in the day.

As tensions continue, France is offering fishers compensation of up to 70% for losses resulting from licensing issues in the short-term.

In the long-term, she said that France would have a voluntary “fleet exit plan” in place by early 2022 for fishers that depended on British waters but wanted to leave, and a €100m stimulus plan to develop the fishing industry.


WATCH: Energy threat returns as France promises pressure in "days"

Marine conservationists call for return of fishing licence conditions

EXPLAINED: Unpicking a local issue on the international stage

"I want the licences back!"

Jersey awaits French reaction after fishing licence decision

Jersey won't 'break Brexit' to resolve fishing row

“Frank” discussions calm French fishing anger as key decision looms

FOCUS: A timely summit aiming to claw back friendship

FOCUS: French make 'power play' as fishing anger flares again

BLOW-BY-BLOW: How the fishing crisis unfolded... (live updates) (May 2021)

WATCH: French and British patrol boats watch over as French boats blockade harbour (May 2021)

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Posted by Danny Moisan on
imagine if we we had a Government leader like Maggie Thatcher? instead of the nodding dog politicians of today!
Posted by Scott Mills on
and Jersey still thinks it's French, and let the cheese, ham and jam people come to jersey to sell their produce I think this will end in tears. Foggy beaches today.
Posted by Robert Gabriel on
Jersey relies on France for over 95% of it’s low cost electricity. Whilst Jersey does have to capability to generate enough electricity to supply the island with power no one should be in any doubt about how expensive that will be. Regrettably, and despite all the hubris emanating on and off island Jersey will quickly find that in a battle of wills with France they hold the upper hand!
Posted by Roy Dean on
Jersey is independant of France and not part of France

Forget that and you should disband the Jersey Govt
Posted by Martin on
The FACT that Jersey issues licences SHOWS it is Jersey waters & a licence is something you earn not a gratuity or an entitlement!
Posted by Peter Huntingdon Bewers on
When we learn that the previous agreement with the French took Ten Years to negotiate we cannot expect to sort this out in a few Months, It appears very one sided and unfair for the Fishermen of Jersey but what is wrong has continued for a long time and will not be put put right easily if ever.?
Posted by Keith Marsh on
It seems like Annick Girardin is getting ready for war.
Not the most sensible way to get what you want ~ She and her fishermen have to remember what's gone is gone; it is a new era, new rules and yes Jersey will issue licences to whom it wishes and it can and will impose conditions on such licences.
Direct talk is better than GUNBOATS, but the latter can be arranged.
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