Brexit French fishing row: Two navy ships from the UK will be sent to Jersey to 'monitor the situation' amid ongoing row amongst channel island and France to blockade trade

Two Navy ships will be sent from the UK to Jersey amid an ongoing row between the island and France over post-Brexit fishing rights and concerns about the prospect of a blockade.

Office and residential buildings are pictured in front of the beach and seafront in St Helier, on the British island of Jersey (Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images).

Two offshore patrol vessels will "monitor the situation" after French maritime minister Annick Girardin warned on Tuesday that the country was ready to take "retaliatory measures.”

This comes after Mr Girardin accused the Channel Island of delaying issuing new licences to French boats.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Chief Minister of Jersey Senator John Le Fondre, and the Minister of External Affairs, Ian Gorst, on Wednesday and "underlined his unwavering support" for the island.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "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."

The UK and Jersey have already criticised France for making "disproportionate" threats after Paris warned it could cut off electricity to the island.

95% of Jersey’s electricity comes from France through three undersea cables.

The row has come after the island implemented new requirements under the terms of the UK-EU trade deal for boats to submit evidence of their past fishing activities.

This is in order for them to receive a licence to carry on operating in Jersey waters.

A UK Government spokesman earlier said: "To threaten Jersey like this is clearly unacceptable and disproportionate.

"We are working closely with the EU and Jersey on fisheries access provisions following the end of the transition period so trust the French will use the mechanisms of our new treaty to solve problems."

Mr Gorst told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "This is not the first threat that the French have made to either Jersey or the United Kingdom since we are into this new deal.

"It would seem disproportionate to cut off electricity for the sake of needing to provide extra details so that we can refine the licences."

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