Europe

Jersey fishermen braced for summer of discontent as French plot further protests

Jersey: French boats join post-Brexit fishing rights protest

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Skipper Paul Bizec, 59, vowed: “It’ll be like a war zone, our boys are getting ready for a fight. We will pelt them with frozen tomatoes and rotten fruit, they’ll be sorry they messed with us. “The French don’t play fair so we will play them at their own game. We won’t take them coming back – as soon as they come into the harbour it will get very dirty, they will be sorry they messed with us.”

He spoke after 60 French boats descended on St Helier, Jersey’s main port, on Thursday – before retreating when two Royal Navy gun ships moved in to monitor the situation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seeking urgent talks with French President Emmanuel Macron to resolve the matter.

The row erupted after Paris threatened to cut off power to Jersey – which receives 95 percent of its electricity from France through undersea cables – and accused it of dragging its feet over issuing new licences to French boats.

Richard Le Brun, 68, skipper of a Jersey lobster boat, said: “I don’t blame the French because everyone has to make a living. But you can’t deal with the French because they always want more.

“It is going to get worse, a summer of discontent. There will be months and months of this.

“We have capitulated to them and they always come back demanding more.”

It has been revealed that Jersey fisherman Jason Bonhomme was threatened on Thursday by a mob when he tried to deliver his haul to a French business.

He had landed in the French port of Carteret with a half tonne of cuttlefish.

Don Thompson, president of the Jersey Fisherman’s Association said: “He was basically led to believe this would be his last day on earth if he didn’t turn back.

“He will be dumping the fish as a dead load at sea now. There are few things worse to a fisherman than having to do that.”

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