Rear Admiral explains how Navy will respond as vessels head to Jersey

6 May 2021, 08:26 | Updated: 6 May 2021, 09:37

By Fiona Jones

Rear Admiral Chris Parry explains the action the Royal Navy are likely to take as two vessels are sent to Jersey amid a row with France over post-Brexit fishing rights.

France has since responded to this action by sending a military observation ship to Jersey to monitor the response.

It comes after a French government minister initially suggested her country could cut off the power it supplies to Jersey as part of a post-Brexit fishing dispute.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with Chief Minister of Jersey Senator John Le Fondre and Minister of External Affairs Ian Gorst on Wednesday about the prospect of a blockade of Saint Helier.

READ MORE: Royal Navy ships patrol Jersey as French fishing boats descend in Brexit dispute

Rear Admiral Parry explained that the Royal Navy are going there firstly to "monitor the situation" and "I think also say this is getting out of hand."

"I think what they're going to try and do is reduce tensions and say we've noticed it's got to a level where we've got to start talking seriously between civilised countries and let's get back to the negotiating table," he said.

Rear Admiral Parry continued that he was "not really" surprised by France's actions, telling LBC, "They've got form when it comes to this sort of thing.

"If they don't like something locally in Normandy or Brittany they always go and blockade something or somebody. I think they're forgetting the Royal Navy is the group that's really good at blockading people."

He also told Nick that the decisions made by France is a "normal gesture" when local and national politics collide.

"I think early action by the Government in sending a couple of small warships will actually say to the French you've got our attention, we're going to talk now, but let's not be silly," Rear Admiral Parry said.

A Downing Street spokesperson said the PM 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."