New Brexit fish dispute averted as Jersey extends French amnesty

British isle allows French boats to fish in its waters for another three months

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 6, 2021 French fishing boats protest in front of the port of Saint Helier off the British island of Jersey to draw attention to what they see as unfair restrictions on their ability to fish in UK waters after Brexit. The government of Jersey, a Channel Island between France and Britain, said on June 28, 2021 that it has decided to extend a transitional fishing agreement with the European Union that would allow EU boats to continue operating in its waters for three months.
"The EU has recently requested an extension to the transitional arrangements, which had been due to come to an end on 30 June," a statement from the Jersey government said, adding that "Jersey Ministers have agreed to that request." - ALTERNATIVE CROP
 / AFP / Sameer Al-DOUMY / ALTERNATIVE CROP

A new dispute over post-Brexit fishing rights has been delayed after the British isle of Jersey extended a transition period, allowing French boats to fish in its waters for another three months.

The move averts another potential escalation between the UK and France after the two Nato allies sent naval warships to the island in May.

French boats were due to face extra licensing requirements from July 1. This deadline has been pushed back to October.

“We are offering this extension to the amnesty period to allow the continuation of discussions,” said Ian Gorst, Jersey’s Minister for External Relations.

“The relationship with France is hugely important to Jersey in so many ways.”

French fishermen had threatened to blockade Jersey if their rights to fish around the island were curtailed after Brexit.

The French government threatened to cut off electricity supplies to the island if licences were not given to French boats.

Negotiations over fish were among the most contentious elements of the post-Brexit accord, and France has threatened to limit access for UK financial services companies into the EU if its trawlers were not treated fairly.

Jersey is a self-governing British crown dependency 22 kilometres from the French coast.

It makes its own laws and raises its own taxes, but relies on the UK government for defence.

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