Responding to an exchange at Westminster between Liberal Democrat MP Alastair Carmichael and UK Secretary of State, George Eustice, on the fisheries dispute between the UK And French Governments, Scottish Conservative Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston said:
"I hope this situation can be resolved speedily and to the benefit of all parties, but as the Secretary of State George Eustice makes clear, the UK Government does not believe the French Government is acting within the agreement signed up to as Britain left the EU. We also know, because of the letter from the French Prime Minister Jean Castex to EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen, that the French Government's position appears less about any serious grievances over fishing rights and more about trying to teach the UK a lesson that "there is more damage in leaving the Union (EU) than in staying in"."
"I'm therefore surprised that Alastair Carmichael, representing island fishing communities as he does, thinks either Jersey or the UK Government should just roll over and accede to the French Government's demands. I would have thought - and would have hoped - that his first instincts would have been to stand up for a small, island community facing attempted bullying - including threats to cut off of power supply - by a far larger EU neighbour."
"Authorities in the Channel Islands have every right to decide whether particular foreign fishing vessels qualify to fish in their territorial waters, and the UK Government is right to support them whether they believe those decisions are consistent with agreements made. No amount of what appears to be pre-election grandstanding from French politicians should overrule that".
Alistair Carmichael's exchange with George Eustice, the UK Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in the House of Commons can be viewed here: