Brexit: Host grills Nadhim Zahawi over France ‘turning lights off’
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France had threatened to cut off electricity supplies to the island amid a row over access to fishing waters. However, Jersey Electricity confirmed the island will have back-up supplies if Emmanuel Macron follows through with his threat. They said in a tweet on Wednesday: “Following enquiries from our customers regarding the French fishing dispute, JE can reassure customers that in the unlikely event electricity supplies from France are disrupted, La Collette Power Station and Queens’ Road has the capacity to supply Jersey’s electricity requirements.”
The news was praised by Tory MP for Wokingham Sir John Redwood, who vowed the UK must not back down to France’s bullying over fisheries.
He said in response: “Glad Jersey has a backup power supply.
“Most important not to give in to unacceptable French bullying. We need to take back control of our fish.”
France issued the threat over electricity supplies after 17 fishing vessels failed to provide data needed to sanction a licence to fish in the waters around the island.
France had accused the UK of using red tape to hinder the levels of fishing around Jersey post-Brexit.
Without this licence, French maritime minister Annick Girardin threatened to cut the transmission of electricity via underwater cables to Jersey.
Two Royal Navy ships will now patrol the waters around the island as French vessels threaten to block the island’s capital.
The HMS Severn is already on station in the port, while the HMS Tamar will arrive later today.
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7.31am update: Jersey blockade begins
French fishing ships have begun a blockade of Jersey’s main port, with Navy ships en route to intervene.
At least one ship has been unable to dock and unload at port due to the protest.
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7.18am update: France’s Jersey blockade threat backfires spectacularly
France’s threat to hinder electricity transmission has backfired spectacularly following the announcement of back-up supplies.
Despite France’s threat, Jersey Electricity said: “Following enquiries from our customers regarding the French fishing dispute, JE can reassure customers that in the unlikely event electricity supplies from France are disrupted, La Collette Power Station and Queens’ Road has the capacity to supply Jersey’s electricity requirements.”
The French Government made the threat to electricity supplies after 17 French fishing vessels were barred from using the waters due to the lack of data needed to be granted a license.
Two Royal Navy vessels will now head to the St Helier port to defend against a blockade of St Helier by French vessels.
Downing Street said in a statement after Boris Johnson’s call with officials: “The prime minister and chief minister stressed the urgent need for a de-escalation in tensions and for dialogue between Jersey and France on fishing access,
“The prime minister underlined his unwavering support for Jersey. He said that any blockade would be completely unjustified.
“As a precautionary measure the UK will be sending two offshore patrol vessels to monitor the situation. They agreed the UK and Jersey governments would continue to work closely on this issue.”
Jersey: French boats join post-Brexit fishing rights protest
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