Jersey stand-off entirely predictable as Boris Johnson ignores island's Constitutional Rights

Published on May 07, 2021

Barry Brown, a European Movement member based in the Channel Islands, writes about the Jersey fisheries dispute - and the culpability of Boris Johnson's government in creating the dispute.

The current situation regarding access to Channel Islands waters is entirely predictable since the Westminster government chose to ignore our Constitutional Rights to negotiate directly with Normandie and Bretagne regional authorities under the Granville Bay agreement signed in the 1840s and has largely worked, well with some issues from time-to-time largely over conservation of stocks.

Boris Johnson and his chums are not great when it comes to detail and it would have been better to conclude agreement on a local basis.

Far from a conflict with French fishermen there is a great deal of sympathy for their loss of access and there is a wish to settle the matter amicably. No doubt the problem will also reach Guernsey in the next few days.

Sending the Royal Navy is unwelcome and merely exacerbates the issue so we are pleased to see the withdrawal of both French and British vessels.

Brexit has brought to the fore petty nationalism - the threat by the French minister to cut off our electricity is almost a declaration of war. Given the state of the bankrupt French company EDF one would have thought they need all the business they can get!

A repeat really of the foolish behaviour of the EU leadership over vaccine supplies, Brexit will only engender bad relationships with Europe and looks likely to result in the break-up of the UK.

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