19. Weekly Newsletter
Jersey Fishing Disputes
The island of Jersey, a British Crown Dependency, sits in the English Channel and lies just 22km from the French coast. However, on Thursday, the port of Jersey was blockaded by 60 French boats due to disputes over access to fishing waters around the island. Under the new post-Brexit rules: 41 licenses/permits have been issued to French fishing vessels to access Jersey’s waters but some of these fishers are disappointed with their allowed catch for multiple reasons. In response to the blockade, the Royal Navy sent two Offshore Patrol Vessels to Jersey as a precautionary measure to prevent any further escalations in the port.
Two days before these events, the French minister for maritime affairs unexpectedly warned that the island of Jersey could have it’s French-supplied electricity supply cut in a retaliatory move over access to fishing waters. The challenges over fishing, even after Brexit, have continued in other events; although, Jersey officials are now working with French fishermen to resolve these issues for the future.
Over 4.4m people in the UK have tested positive for COVID but the average daily increase in cases is now at 2,000– compared to over 60,000 at the start of 2021. A total of around 127,600 deaths have been attributed to the virus and the daily increase sits in the single digits. Nationally, 35.2m people have received their first vaccine and 17.3m of these patients have also received their second dose. This brings the total number of inoculations carried out, by the private sector and National Health Service, to over 52.5 million.
After months of international travel being restricted: the UK Government has unveiled it’s ‘green list’ of countries for travelling to without having to quarantine upon return. Portugal, Gibraltar and Israel feature among the approved 12 countries/dependencies which has led to the cost of flights to double due to the low quantity of holiday destinations available. Sweden has been placed on the ‘amber list’, alongside countries such as France and Italy, which requires two-post arrival tests and self-isolation at home for up to 10 days upon return to the UK.
UK Local Elections Results
The results of the UK’s 2021 ‘bumper’ local elections have revealed substantial changes in the nation’s political makeup. Traditional Labour Party councils in the Midlands and North shifted towards PM Johnson’s Conservative Party in sizeable quantities- as polling had predicted. However, the position of ‘Mayor of London was retained by Labour’s Khan’ and some mayoral positions also joined the Government’s opposition. At the time of writing, the 2021 results show:
- 2,240 (+297) | Conservative Party
- 1,283 (-255) | Labour Party
- 966 (-103) | Others
- 60 (+12) | Conservative Party
- 44 (-8) | Labour Party
- 32 (-3) | Others (mainly under ‘No Overall Control of Council’)
Elsewhere in the country the pro-Scottish independence parties secured a slim majority in the Scottish parliament but the Conservatives held onto all of their seats- which maintained their position as the second largest party. Scotland’s First Minister has used her party’s own success to renew fresh calls for an independence referendum despite the potential legal challenges from Westminster.