French authorities have announced that Jersey fishermen will be banned from landing their catch at three ports in response to the first major trade dispute of the Brexit era. It comes days after Mr Macron’s nation threatened to cut off the Crown dependency’s electricity over fishing licenses. The move saw roughly 60 French fishermen descend on the Channel Island’s main port, St Helier, in protest, sparking the swift dispatch of two Royal Navy ships – HMS Severn and HMS Tamar.
France then risked escalating tensions by sending two vessels to the area “in a spirit of responsibility” after accusing Jersey of breaching the post-Brexit trade deal signed by the UK.
In a tit-for-tat retaliation, local leaders in La Manche, Normandy, said that boats from the Channel island will now be suspended from entering the ports of Granville, Barneville-Carteret and Dielette until further notice.
Former Army officer Mr Drummond has slammed Mr Macron for making a “storm in a teacup” situation and highlighted the French president’s apparent content to the UK over the last few months.
He said: “The problem with France is they have not been helpful with the relationship we are trying to build with Europe post-Brexit.
“In particular, Macron’s blockade of the UK just before Christmas was completely unacceptable.
“He was doing that to manoeuvre politically internally, but the damage that caused to Franco-Anglo relations was enormous.
“You would expect an enemy to treat you like that, not an ally.”
Mr Drummond was particularly frustrated with Paris as Britain has spent the last three years “helping France” with a UN resolution mission dubbed Operation Serval.
Since 2018, the RAF has been conducting non-combat roles in Mali.
READ MORE: Macron’s power grab: ‘Provocative’ French president ‘trying to assert himself’ as EU king
The two Royal Navy ships have left Jersey, but “remain on standby” following talks between Jersey officials and the French fishermen.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the situation “has been resolved,” but authorities in Jersey have promised further talks with France to ease tensions.
The row broke out over new licences that French fishermen have been required to obtain from the Jersey government to carry on operating.
But Jersey fishermen have now claimed they have been unable to land their hauls in France.
Ian Gorst, Jersey’s minister for external relations, said on Friday that he believed the decision falls foul of the Brexit trade deal.
He said: “For that reason, we are referring the notice of this decision immediately to the European Commission.”