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UK to send two Royal Navy ships to Jersey after France threatens blockade of island port | UK News

The UK is sending two Royal Navy ships to Jersey “as a precaution” after threats of a French blockade of the island’s main port on a post-Brexit fishing line.

Downing Street confirmed that Boris Johnson spoke to Jersey Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondre on Wednesday evening “about the prospect of a blockade of Saint Helier” – the main town on the island.

“The Prime Minister and the Chief Minister have underlined the urgent need for a de-escalation of tensions and a dialogue between Jersey and France on access to fisheries,” said a spokesperson for Downing Street.

“The Prime Minister stressed his unwavering support for Jersey. He said any blockade would be totally unjustified. As a precaution, the UK will send two offshore patrol vessels to monitor the situation.

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

Four Royal Navy boats are on standby
HMS Severn (pictured) and HMS Tamar are dispatched to Jersey
HMS Tamar is a new Royal Navy patrol vessel.  Pic: MoD
HMS Tamar is a new Royal Navy patrol vessel. Pic: MoD

A Defense Department spokesperson confirmed that HMS Severn, described as being able to set up fishing boats for inspection, and HMS Tamar, one of the Navy’s newest warships, were deployed to Jersey “to conduct maritime security patrols”.

“This is a strictly preventive measure and has been agreed with the Jersey government,” he added.

France had previously threatened to cut off electricity to the island and French fishermen were threatening to block the main port of Saint-Helier to prevent the delivery of supplies.

Up to 100 French fishing boats are expected to enter the harbor at 6 a.m. on Thursday to prevent the Commodore Clipper, carrying cargo, from docking in Jersey, according to local newspaper the Bailiwick Express.

French officials also said they would close offices in their Channel Islands and stop importing Jersey products into France.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-05 19:11:00