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"The Relationship Of Trust Is Very Seriously Damaged"

The President of Le Manche has piled further pressure on Jersey's government by calling it unacceptable to fix the conditions placed on licences issued to French fishermen to use Jersey waters.

Marc Lefeuvre says the relationship of trust between Jersey and France is very seriously damaged as a result.

The Le Manche president went on to say that this calls the 'historic rights' in our sea into question, 'which has been recognised as a common sea since 1839'.

He was responding to Senator Ian Gorst, Jersey's External Relations Minister, who says he had a good conversation with the President on what are a difficult set of issues - which they will continue to work through.

The crisis has escalated yet further in the last 24 hours after France's Maritime Minister threatened retaliatory measures such as cutting Jersey's under-sea power connection.

Jersey Electricity says in the unlikely event that happens, La Collette Power Station and Queens' Road have the capacity to supply the island's electricity needs.

French fishermen and officials have reacted with outrage to the new scheme - so much so that the Normandy Presidents decided to close the Bureau de Normandie in St Helier.

Herve Morin says there was never any question of additional criteria being attached to licences. He's called on the French government and European Commission to make sure the terms of the post-Brexit agreement 'are respected and applied'.

Senator Gorst has called it a misunderstanding that can be put right and hopes the decision to cut ties can be reversed, with Jersey's government insisting that its acted on legal advice and in good faith at every stage of the process.

Channel 103 has contacted the External Relations Minister for further comment.

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