Transitional arrangements to allow French fishermen to access Jersey’s waters until May have been rejected by the EU because they do not satisfy their “strict legal requirements.”
External Relations Minister Senator Ian Gorst issued a statement setting out Jersey’s position yesterday. A translation was also sent out to the French media.
In it, he said he explained that the offer of a post-Brexit transitional period - allowing French fishermen to access Jersey’s waters until May under the previous Bay of Granville arrangements - had been rejected by the EU.
“Following communication from the European Commission, via the UK, it has become clear that the transitional arrangements for relevant French vessels that were announced by Jersey in good faith – to give time to these vessels to take on board the requirements of the new arrangements – do not satisfy the strict legal requirements of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. This has been addressed immediately,” said Senator Gorst.
“As such, we have now moved away from the transitional arrangements we had communicated, and would have been happy to implement, and proceeded directly into the new licensing regime under the TCA.
“Officials in our Marine Resources department – as the relevant competent authority – are ready to swiftly issue licenses upon receipt of evidence from French vessels that they meet the criteria under the TCA.”
Senator Gorst added that the Government was “looking at ways to support the industry with meeting the new administrative requirements under the TCA to ensure its viability and sustainability in the immediate to longer-term.”
It is understood this could include appointing a person in France to liaise with port authorities and merchants, and helping fishermen to identify new markets.
“We will continue to engage with our fishermen and will provide as much information and support as we possibly can now that these new arrangements are in place,” said Senator Gorst.
“Where the terms of the agreement are met in respect of landings, we don’t believe there should be any long-term issues, although we accept there may be some short-term issues that will be addressed.”
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