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Funding plan could help Jersey fishermen post Brexit

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JERSEY has made a commitment to help fund the provision of a specialist border inspection post in Normandy which could be needed by fishermen post-Brexit, one of the region’s senior politicians has said.

[left to right] Hervé Morin, President of the Region of Normandy, James Dent, Chairman of the Policy of Finance Committee of the States of Alderney, Bernard Cauvain, President of the Cité de la Mer in Cherbourg, Marc Lefèvre, President of the Conseil Départemental of La Manche, Anne-Marie Cousin, Vice-President of the Region of Normandy, Jean Marc Julienne, Chairman of the Maison de Normandie et de la Manche, Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, member of the Policy and Resources Committee with responsibility for external affairs in Guernsey; External Relations Minister Ian Gorst. Picture: Government of Jersey (26004555)

Marc Lefèvre, president of the Departmental Council of La Manche, made the announcement to French media following an annual summit between the region and the Channel Islands in Cherbourg on Friday.

Currently, Jersey fishermen land between 70% and 80% of their catch in Normandy ports, such as Granville, for sale on the French market.

However, this could become unviable post-Brexit, if the correct legislation and infrastructure cannot be put in place.

Speaking to radio station France Bleu, Mr Lefèvre also expressed his wish to maintain the Granville Bay Treaty which allows certain Normandy, Brittany and Jersey-registered fishing vessels to work in each other’s waters.

‘The positive point of this meeting is to hear from the politicians of Guernsey and Jersey willingness to ensure that things do not change,’ Mr Lefèvre said.

‘It is that our fishermen can continue to benefit from access to territorial waters under the conditions that are set today and that Channel Island fishermen can continue to come to our ports.

‘For this last point, certain conditions will have to be specified, in particular the veterinary inspections. But already, Jersey has made a commitment to financially participate in the facilities.’

In a statement released by Jersey’s government yesterday, Mr Lefèvre said that he would begin talking to his country’s government, as well as those based in Brussels, in an effort to maintain the bilateral Granville Bay Treaty.

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External Relations Minster Ian Gorst – who attended the summit alongside his Guernsey counterpart Jonathan Le Tocq and Alderney counterpart James Dent – said that educational links, cultural initiatives and economic opportunities were also discussed.

‘We reviewed the progress of our co-operation over higher education, student exchanges, culture and environment – including marine renewable energy, tourism and other areas of our economies,’ Senator Gorst said. ‘I agreed with my Norman colleagues that the co-operation between Jersey and France under the Bay of Granville Agreement was an example of mutual benefits that can derive from working together. We agreed to continue discussions about this.

‘I welcome the Normandy regional authority’s commitment to smooth market access for Jersey fishermen and am happy to say we have agreed to support a project which will facilitate landings in Granville.’

The government press office were asked how much money had been budgeted for the provision of the specialist border inspection post but no response was received.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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