“As you know, the agreement provides for retaliatory measures and we are ready to apply them,” Girardin told the French parliament.
Girardin also alleged that the Jersey government, which issued 41 fishing permits to French vessels on April 30, had “unilateral” restrictions imposed on trawlers.
“For example, with regard to Jersey, I will remind you of the transmission of electricity over a submarine cable,” she added. “We have resources. And even if it were sad to get to this point, we will get there if we have to.”
The self-governing island of Jersey is one of the Channel Islands and is only 22 km off the French coast. While technically not part of the UK, the islands are crown addictions defended and represented internationally by the UK government.
Jersey Electricity, the island’s main electricity company, says more than 95% of the electricity the island purchases comes from France and is carried over submarine cables.
In a statement, Jersey Foreign Minister Senator Ian Gorst said the island had been informed by France and the European Union “that they are unhappy with the conditions for fishing licenses and fishing in general”.
“Such complaints are taken very seriously and the government will respond fully,” said Gorst. “However, the Jersey Government has provided legal advice in good faith and with due regard to non-discriminatory and scientific principles at every stage of this process.”
He added that Jersey regretted a recent decision by French local authorities in neighboring Normandy to close their representation on the island, saying it was based on “a misunderstanding that can be resolved”.
“We want to heal the relationship as soon as possible and hope that the (Normandy authorities) take the opportunity to reverse the decision,” said Gorst.
The UK and the EU signed a trade deal on December 24 after Brexit, which went into effect on January 1 when the UK left the EU’s internal market and customs union.
“It is important that we condemn this move immediately. I did this with the (European) Commission and condemned the breach of the Brexit agreement,” said Girardin, warning Jersey of the move “would set a dangerous precedent for access create elsewhere. “
Girardin’s threat recalls the blockade by former French President Charles de Gaulle against the Principality of Monaco in October 1962 as part of a tax dispute.
According to the French Assembly, the move had “psychological repercussions” on the local population amid fears that it would reduce the costs of water, gas and electricity provided by France. The blockade only lasted a few hours.