French fisherman warns of 'never-ending war' with Jersey
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In the damning letter sent to EU Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, the politicians from the Manche region in France also claimed the European Union “made concessions” in initial quota negotiations with the UK prior to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement being reached with Britain. The elected officials now stressed “that negotiation efforts must be focused on fishing” rather than other Brexit related matters.
It comes as France, the UK and Jersey, a self-governing British Crown Dependency, agreed to a three-month extension to post-Brexit transition arrangements to allow some French vessels to keep fishing in its waters while negotiations over licences continue.
The letter from the politicians added: “Since the signing of the Brexit agreement, many fishermen are still awaiting part of the authorisations for access to the British territorial sea as well as to the bailiwick of Jersey and Guernsey.”
They claimed the restrictions put in place by the UK and Jersey were “too numerous” and had “caused tensions.”
It continued by saying French fishermen must work with “new restrictions that do not respect the ratified [Trade and Cooperation] agreement” signed between the UK and EU on Christmas Eve in 2020.
The letter was signed by Senators Béatrice Gosselin, Philippe Bas and Jean-Michel Houllegatte, MPs Philippe Gosselin, Stéphane Travert, Bertrand Sorre and Sonia Krimi as well as MEP Stéphanie Yon-Courtin.
The French Government backed the letter and a Paris source added: “The UK is not respecting the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, especially on fishing.
“We urge the EU to listen to us, currently it appears France and its fishermen have been sold out in this deal.”
A dispute over the licences initially flared in May when France and Britain sent patrol vessels off the shores of Jersey after a flotilla of French fishing boats sailed to the island in protest.
An interim accord had been due to expire on June 30 under the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union, but this will now last until September 30.
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7am update: Irish Garda ready for Northern Ireland protocol protest
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said reports of a loyalist rally in Dublin in opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol may be “no more than kite flying”.
But Mr Harris stressed that if such a protest did take place then the force would be “prepared for it”.
There have been a number of loyalist rallies in Northern Ireland linked to the Protocol, part of the Brexit deal which is opposed by unionists and loyalists because it creates a trading barrier between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
Last month it was reported that loyalists were planning a major protest in Dublin with loyalist activist Jamie Bryson told the Sunday Independent newspaper that it would be a “colourful protest” which would take place sometime after July 12.
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