Navy ships sent to Jersey as French fishermen plan to blockade harbour

ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports on the Jersey and France row as 70 French fishing boats are due travel to Jersey to blockade the main harbour on Thursday

Two offshore patrol vessels have been sent to “monitor the situation” in Jersey as rows over post-Brexit fishing rights escalate.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson says HMS Severn and HMS Tamar have been deployed to conduct "maritime security patrols", however this is a strictly precautionary measure and has been agreed with the relevant authorities in Jersey.

The HMS Severn is circled on this image. Credit: MarineTraffic

70 French fishing boats are planning to blockade St Helier's main harbour early tomorrow morning (6 May).

They are retaliating after authorities in Jersey rejected some applications for licences to fish in local waters.

Tonight, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “This evening the Prime Minister spoke to the Chief Minister of Jersey, Senator John Le Fondre, and the Minister of External Affairs, Ian Gorst, about the prospect of a blockade of Saint Helier.

“The Prime Minister and Chief Minister stressed the urgent need for a de-escalation in tensions and for dialogue between Jersey and France on fishing access.

“The Prime Minister underlined his unwavering support for Jersey. He said that any blockade would be completely unjustified. As a precautionary measure the UK will be sending two offshore patrol vessels to monitor the situation.

“They agreed the UK and Jersey governments would continue to work closely on this issue.”

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