French protest not a threat to island’s power supply

THE States has downplayed any threat to the Bailiwick’s electricity supply, despite a protest by French fishermen planned for tomorrow.

The power cables between the Channel Islands and France.
The power cables between the Channel Islands and France.

Fishermen from Normandy and Brittany are due to stage the protest at the French end of one of the undersea cables that supplies Jersey with electricity.

Guernsey, which is fed power through an extension to the France-Jersey cable, is caught up in the threat despite reaching an extended interim agreement with France earlier this month to allow French fishing vessels to continue to fish in Bailiwick waters until 30 September.

‘The peaceful protest planned at one of the three landing points for the three cable connections between Jersey and France should not have any direct implications for supply in Guernsey,’ said Policy & Resources external relations lead, Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq.

‘In any event Guernsey has a resilience in its supply strategy that provides for continuity should there be any issue with the cable to France, via Jersey.’

Earlier this month, States international relations director Jo Reeve said the long-term fishing agreement was taking longer than anyone anticipated, and was more complicated than anyone expected.

He pointed out that the agreement was for the entire UK, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, and the issues were shared.

The post-Brexit trade deal gives Jersey and Guernsey the power to licence all boats and French vessels with historical fishing activity will continue to have access.

There is dispute is over how many of the French boats can legitimately claim historic fishing activity.

The States hoped to conclude negotiations on a licensing scheme, developed under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, as soon as possible.

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