France threatened to cut off electricity to Jersey in a fight for post-Brexit fishing rights.
French leaders accused the UK of using bureaucracy to limit fishing, in violation of the agreement reached with the EU last year.
French Sea Minister Annick Girardin said of potential electricity cuts: “We are ready to use these retaliatory measures.
“Europe and France have the means – that is written in the agreement.
“With regard to Jersey, I would like to remember, for example, the transmission of electricity via underwater cable. So we have the means. Even if I regret having reached this point, we will do so if necessary.”
According to Jersey Electricity, about 95% of the energy for the British Crown autonomous dependency comes from three submarine cables from France, with the remainder supplied by diesel generators on the island.
On Friday, 41 vessels were authorized by the UK to fish in waters off Jersey, but France said that authorization was accompanied by new demands “which have not been settled or discussed and which we have not been notified of”.
Demands establish where ships can and cannot go, how long fishermen can spend at sea and what machines they can use, they added.
In comments reported by The Guardian, French politician Bertrand Sorre said that a fisherman from Granville, who fishes scallops and shells “on average 40 days a year” in Jersey waters, was told he would only have access for 11 days.
He added: “The anger is roaring and the desire to fight is palpable.”
Mrs Girardin said this was “absolutely unacceptable”, adding: “If we accept this for Jersey, it would jeopardize our access everywhere”.
A spokesman for the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said that Jersey was responsible for its own territorial waters and fisheries management, but the United Kingdom was responsible for the Crown Dependencies’ international relations.
“We have been working closely with the EU and the Jersey government on the access to fishing arrangements after the end of the transition to licensing,” added the spokesman.