Clément Beaune warns of reduced energy supply to Jersey
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France’s European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune told a Friday morning news show that reducing electricity to Jersey was no idle threat. Speaking to BFM-TV, the strong ally of Emmanuel Macron revealed that electricity supplies to the Channel island of Jersey could be reduced, rather than cut entirely. This was part of a “targeted retaliation plan” against the British amid a standoff over post-Brexit fishing rights.
Mr Beaune told BFM-TV: “Reducing supplies of electricity to Jersey is possible.
“But cutting the power to every Jersey resident this winter is something that will not happen and something that I do not want.
“So we can regulate the flow. I don’t want us to come to that. This is one of the political possibilities.”
He said that France will “hold out” and continue to pressure Britain until France gets all of its requested fishing licenses.
The minister said France had asked for 450 fishing licences but had only received 275.
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Mr Beaune continued: “We have requested a little more than 450 licenses in total. We’re 40 percent short. We will hold out on the 450.”
He also detailed other “targeted retaliatory measures” against the UK if Westminster “continues not to apply the Brexit agreement”.
The senior French minister explained: “The British need us to sell their products, including fisheries.
“They need us for their energy, for their financial services, for their research centres.
“All of this gives us pressure points. We have the means to modulate the degree of our cooperation, to reduce it, if Britain does not implement the agreement.
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“If they don’t do their share, then we won’t do 100 percent of our share either.
“Stop telling us you do not need us anymore, stop being obsessed with us, stop believing that we will solve your problems.
“They failed on Brexit. It was a bad choice, we see that today.
“Threatening us, threatening our fishermen, will not settle their supply of turkey at Christmas.”
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Jersey has called France’s threat to reduce power to the British crown dependency “unacceptable” and “disproportionate”
Jersey’s Minister for External Relations Ian Gorst said the move would violate Britain’s post-Brexit treaty with the EU.
The UK has maintained that it has pursued a “reasonable approach” on post-Brexit fishing licenses, after issuing nearly 1,700 licenses to EU boats to fish in Britain’s exclusive economic zone.
However, French fishermen have warned they could also block the port of Calais and Channel Tunnel rail link if the UK does not grant more fishing licences by the end of the month.
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