As Chairman of the Channel Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group, I am pleased to learn that the protest by French fishermen over post-Brexit rights in Jersey’s territorial waters has ended.
However, I am horrified by this week’s events, to say the least. The behaviour of the French Minister for the Sea and French fishermen amounts to a campaign of bullying and intimidation against the people of a territory that have been loyal to the British Crown for nearly one thousand years. Planning to blockade Jersey’s St. Hellier port was outrageous, but the threat to cut off electricity to the island and boasting to bring the island and the people to their knees was flagrant aggression, which is unforgiveable. Those responsible should be ashamed of their actions.
Jersey, as well as the other Channel Islands are Her Majesty’s Crown Dependencies. They are part of the British family and the United Kingdom will stand with them in the face of coercion.
Over the coming week, Jersey, Guernsey, Sark and Alderney celebrate Liberation Day. The Channel Islanders are strong people who have endured many challenges during their long association with the Crown. They are not people to be bullied and France must understand this and back off.
The United Kingdom and the British people will stand four-square behind the people of Jersey. The French government must be told that any threats made against the Channel Islands will be seen as being made against all of us throughout the British Isles. Jersey will not stand alone.
The Channel Islands A.P.P.G. in the U.K. Parliament give their full support to the Chief Minister of Jersey and all the people of the Bailiwick at this time.