(Bloomberg) -- The French maritime minister suggested that her government could cut off electricity supplies to the isle of Jersey, amid a deepening row between France and the U.K. over post-Brexit fishing rights.
Annick Girardin said she was “revolted” when she found out that Britain had granted 41 fishing licenses that included conditions and specific criteria that were “decided unilaterally and without explanation.”
“It’s unacceptable,” she told lawmakers in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
“We’re ready to resort to retaliatory measures” that are in the Brexit accord. “Concerning Jersey, I’ll remind you of the transport of electricity via submarine cables,” she added. “I would regret it if we have to do it, but we’ll do it if we have to.”
Girardin said she flagged the non-compliance with the Brexit deal to the European Commission, and posted a video clip of the comments to lawmakers on her Twitter account. There was no immediate comment from the U.K. government.
Last week, Clement Beaune, France’s junior minister for European Affairs, threatened to block regulations that would allow U.K. financial firms to do business in the European Union if Britain doesn’t respect its Brexit commitments on fishing.
Beaune was due to meet with David Frost, the Brexit minister and former U.K. negotiator, for previously planned talks Tuesday night.
Access to bountiful fishing areas located between 6 and 12 nautical miles (11 and 22 kilometers) off the British coast is difficult, and the U.K. hasn’t delivered all the licenses it was meant to, the head of the National Fishing Committee, Jean-Luc Hall, told Bloomberg last week. He added that French fishermen don’t risk venturing into U.K. waters without a license because of the risks of fines.
British and EU negotiators are locked in discussions over the 2021 catch quota for shared fishing stocks. Hall said that some of them “think it’s possible that delays in giving out licenses is a lever in the negotiations on quotas.”
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