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Brexit Weekly Digest - 7 May

This week it’s all about fishing as the French government threaten to cut off electricity to Jersey over post-Brexit fishing rights, and the UK fails to secure a deal with Norway. Plus, we share the online events happening this month that will help you and your business trade post-Brexit.

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce: May Events

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) is hosting various online events in May as part of their commitment to support businesses in Greater Manchester to navigate their international trade journey:


France threatens to cut off power to Jersey in post-Brexit fishing row

The French government has threatened to cut off the electricity supply to Jersey, over post-Brexit fishing rights. Under the new UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), fishing vessels must undergo a new licensing system which dictates where ships can and cannot sail, and decides the number of days fisherman can spend in the area.

The TCA states that to receive a license to fish in British waters, French boat operators must show a history of fishing in the area. The Crown Dependencies of Jersey are responsible for authorisation and licensing of fishing vessels within their waters. So far Jersey has granted 41 permits to French fishing vessels. However, Paris officials are claiming that Jersey is not issuing fishing licenses to French boats fairly under the terms of the TCA.

French minister for maritime affairs, Annick Girardin, said “this is absolutely unacceptable” and France was “ready to use… retaliatory measures”. France supplies roughly 95% of Jersey’s electricity via undersea cables. Since the statement, the UK government have sent two Royal Navy ships to surrounding Jersey.

The government of Jersey has provided a ministerial statement on the French fishing protest, saying “Jersey’s essential infrastructure will not be disrupted as local facilities are able to meet our power requirements in the event of any external interruption".


Anger over government's failure to get Norway fishing deal

The UK government has been unsuccessful in reaching a fishing deal with Norway, meaning UK fleets will not have access to Norway’s sub-Arctic seas. After leaving the EU, the UK is no longer part of the European Common Fisheries Policy, and instead must negotiate fishing quotas with each EU country directly.

The lack of agreement from both sides means that neither fleet can fish in the other’s waters. Norwegian vessels are known to catch blue whiting in UK waters during the first few months of the year, however UK vessels fish for Norwegian cod all year round.

This means that the price of fish and chips could increase, as boat operators lose 40% of fishing opportunities and are forced to fish in the “constrained waters of the North Sea and West of Scotland” (National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations).

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