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Royal Navy arrives in Jersey as France dispatches two coastguard vessels in escalation

(Pictured HMS Medway) © Andy Holmes

Two Royal Navy patrol vessels have arrived to monitor a blockade of Jersey’s port St Helier by 70 French fishing vessels.

Satellite photos picked up the Navy vessels moving at pace in the direction of Jersey Wednesday night as news of a flotilla of French vessels heading to blockade the port of St Helier broke.

France has threatened to cut off the small island’s electricity supply, which is heavily reliant on undersea power cables connected to France.

Downing Street condemned the threats and are “monitoring the situation”. And in another tense exchange in recent hours, French fisherman threatened to completely blockade all traffic going in and out of St Helier in protest at new post-Brexit fishing restrictions in Jersey waters.

France this morning announced it would be dispatching its own patrol vessels to the area, but will not be able to legally enter Jersey’s waters.

HMS Severn and HMS Tamar are sitting just a mile off the coast of Jersey to watch the French flotilla.

The threat to cut off electricity supplies was deemed “disproportionate” by Jersey authorities that pledged to continue peaceful dialogue with the French.

Following France’s sabre rattling, the UK is now reported to be looking at working more closely with The Netherlands to supply electricity via underwater cables to Jersey, in a blow to France’s commercial interests in the region.