What is happening in Jersey? Latest updates
A MAJOR row has erupted between Jersey and France over post-Brexit fishing rights.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has deployed the Royal Navy to protect the island from the threat of a French blockade. Here is everything you need to know about what is going on.
What's happening in Jersey?
Tensions between Jersey and France escalated following the introduction of a new post-Brexit law on May 1.
It means French boats fishing off Jersey – which is under Britain's protection – now need a special license from the Jersey government.
France is threatening to cut off power to Jersey, which receives 95% of its electricity from France through three undersea cables, in retaliation for the fallout.
One of French president Emmanuel Macron's key allies, Maritime Minister Annick Girardin, told French MPs: "We are ready to use these retaliation measures.
"I am sorry it has come to this. We will do so if we have to."
A UK government spokesperson described the threat as "unacceptable and disproportionate".
Boris Johnson has deployed two Royal Navy ships – HMS Severn and HMS Tamar – to protect the UK's sovereign fishing grounds.
They will monitor the situation and also protect the island's 100,000 citizens who depend wholly on imports for food, medicine and even electricity.
The two vessels are armed with a 20mm cannon, which can fire 700 rounds a minute at a range of 1300 yards, and can travel at up to 20 knots.
Around 100 French fishing vessels began arriving at the island just after 6am on May 6, with some on board setting off flares.
They are due to launch a blockade as part of their protest, the head of fisheries for the Normandy region, Dimitri Rogoff has said.
David Sellam, head of the joint Normany-Brittany sea authority, claimed Jersey had been taken over by an "trustworthy" and "extremist fringe, who want to reduce French fishing access and profit from Brexit".
"We’re ready for war. We can bring Jersey to its knees if necessary," he said.
The French vessels are steaming towards Jersey's main port St Helier, which is narrow and would only take a handful of 150-ton trawlers to block.
What's happened so far?
Thursday, April 22: French fishermen launch a blockade of UK exports to the continent in protest at lost access to our waters.
Angry trawlermen besieged the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, near Calais, accusing No 10 of treating them with "contempt" by shutting their boats out.
Tuesday, April 27: France threatens "reprisals" against Britain if No 10 doesn't grant its fishermen greater access to UK waters.
Europe minister Clement Beaune said Paris will be a "brutal and difficult partner" until it secures more catches.
Friday, May 1: A new post-Brexit law comes into place, meaning French boats fishing off Jersey need a special license from the Jersey government.
The requirements under the terms of the UK-EU trade deal mean boats must submit evidence of their past fishing activities in order to receive a licence to carry on operating in Jersey waters.
Tuesday, May 4: France threatens to cut off Jersey’s electricity supply.
Angry trawlermen and government officials warn they could cut a cable which runs underwater from Northern France to Jersey.
Maritime Minister Annick Girardin told French MPs: "We are ready to use these retaliation measures.
"I am sorry it has come to this, but we will do so if we have to."
Wednesday, May 5: Prime Minister Boris Johnson deploys the Royal Navy to protect the UK's sovereign fishing grounds and Jersey residents.
HMS Severn and HMS Tamar arrive at the island, armed with a 20mm cannon, which can fire 700 rounds a minute at a range of 1300 yards, and can travel at up to 20 knots.
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