On 13th January 2021, the Chief Minister of Guernsey, Deputy Peter Ferbrache; the President of the Regional Council of Normandy, Hervé Morin; and the President of Departmental Council of La Manche, Marc Lefèvre met, by video conference, to discuss the implementation of the TCA, in particular the aspects relating to fisheries access in Bailiwick waters and access to Normandy ports.
The parties reaffirmed their commitment to a cooperative relationship for the mutual benefit of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and Normandy.
Marc Lefèvre confirmed that La Manche were grateful for the speed at which Guernsey had been able to put in place a further interim authorisation for French vessels to fish in Bailiwick waters, to last until 31 March 2021. This follows on from the interim authorisation granted in February 2020 when the UK left the EU.
The Bailiwick will put in place the full licensing regime, which will initially be based on the actual extent and nature of fishing activity that it can be demonstrated was carried out during a track record period, so that it comes into force from 1 April 2021. The Government of Guernsey is committed to continued dialogue with Normandy while this licensing regime, established in accordance with the obligations of the TCA, is developed and put into effect.
The designation of Diélette as a direct landing port was also discussed. Both sides agreed that it was in the Bailiwick and Normandy’s mutual benefit to seek that the French Government designate Diélette so that landings can recommence as soon as it is possible.
Already Cherbourg, Carteret and Granville are designated ports for direct landings. Local fishermen have confirmed they have landed in Cherbourg successfully since the end of the transition period.
Chief Minister of Guernsey, Deputy Ferbrache said: “The new UK-EU Trade Agreement, the TCA, marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Bailiwick’s relationship with the EU, specifically with France and in the historic
connection with Normandy. The Government of Guernsey is committed to implementing the agreement in a fair way to ensure there is a stable and predictable relationship for trade and fisheries with the EU, and through that Normandy. I also took the opportunity to ensure that the strategic importance of the direct cable connection with France was understood, this will need further discussion when the TCA fisheries licensing regime has been fully implemented. It was clear from the discussion that we have made a good start to this new relationship.”
President of the Regional Council of Normandy, Hervé Morin said: “It is always a pleasure to be able to work closely with our friends and partners in the Channel Islands. The Normandy Regional Council wishes to reaffirm its commitment to maintaining and strengthening the ties between us, for the mutual benefit of everyone.”