transport

HMS Tamar returns to Portsmouth after seeing off French fishermen

HMS Tamar sails home to Portsmouth after seeing off rowdy French fishermen with HMS Severn in the ‘Battle of St Helier’ off Jersey coast

  • HMS Tamar returned home to Portsmouth following her deployment to Jersey amid tensions with France
  • Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron will try to restore ‘brotherly’ relationship amid post-Brexit chaos
  • Furious French skippers threatened to block British goods from entering Calais over fishing rights
  • About 70 French trawlers protested at St Helier but gave up the blockade when two Royal Navy ships arrived 

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HMS Tamar sailed back to Portsmouth on Thursday after seeing off French fishermen together with HMS Severn off the Jersey coast.

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel has welcomed home after the French threatened to blockade Calais.

The vessel even showed off its shiny new paint job with different hues of grey as it returned to the naval base.

HMS Tamar sailed back to Portsmouth on Thursday after seeing off French fishermen together with HMS Severn off the Jersey coast

HMS Tamar sailed back to Portsmouth on Thursday after seeing off French fishermen together with HMS Severn off the Jersey coast

HMS Tamar sailed back to Portsmouth on Thursday after seeing off French fishermen together with HMS Severn off the Jersey coast

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar, arrives back into Portsmouth harbour

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar, arrives back into Portsmouth harbour

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar, arrives back into Portsmouth harbour

HMS Tamar returns home to the Naval Base this afternoon following her deployment to Jersey after tensions rose over fishing rights in the English Channel

HMS Tamar returns home to the Naval Base this afternoon following her deployment to Jersey after tensions rose over fishing rights in the English Channel

HMS Tamar returns home to the Naval Base this afternoon following her deployment to Jersey after tensions rose over fishing rights in the English Channel

Along with HMS Severn, she was deployed to monitor the blockage of Jersey's main port by French fishermen following a row over fishing rights

Along with HMS Severn, she was deployed to monitor the blockage of Jersey's main port by French fishermen following a row over fishing rights

Along with HMS Severn, she was deployed to monitor the blockage of Jersey’s main port by French fishermen following a row over fishing rights

It comes as Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron are set to hold emergency ‘peace talks’ to end the ‘Battle of Jersey’. 

The world leaders, who control Europe’s two largest armies, will try to restore their ‘brotherly’ relationship amid the post-Brexit chaos.

Meanwhile a fishing leader from the island called for a ‘show of good faith’ from France after ‘some pretty extreme threats’. 

President of Jersey Fishermen’s Association Don Thompson said ‘the real hardship genuinely is on this side and I’m seeing my colleagues going out of business’.

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar (left), passes the Britanny Ferries' MV Normandie (right)

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar (left), passes the Britanny Ferries' MV Normandie (right)

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar (left), passes the Britanny Ferries’ MV Normandie (right)

The vessel even showed off its shiny new paint job with different hues of grey as it returned to the naval base

The vessel even showed off its shiny new paint job with different hues of grey as it returned to the naval base

The vessel even showed off its shiny new paint job with different hues of grey as it returned to the naval base

About 70 French trawlers staged a protest at Jersey's capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived

About 70 French trawlers staged a protest at Jersey's capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived

About 70 French trawlers staged a protest at Jersey’s capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived

The row over Channel fishing rights escalated last night after furious French skippers threatened to block UK goods from entering Calais.

About 70 French trawlers staged a protest at Jersey’s capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived.

The standoff came after some French boats were refused licences to fish in Jersey’s waters under post-Brexit rules.

In response, French minister Annick Girardin warned Paris could cut off electricity to Jersey.

The comment has led to former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt calling for a ‘halt’ to the AQUIND Interconnector project between France and Britain.

The Portsmouth MP said the £1.2billion project to transport power from the Continent to the UK should stop.

Boris Johnson (pictured with Carrie Symonds) and Emmanuel Macron are set to hold emergency 'peace talks' to end the 'Battle of Jersey' after French fishermen threatened to blockade Calais

Boris Johnson (pictured with Carrie Symonds) and Emmanuel Macron are set to hold emergency 'peace talks' to end the 'Battle of Jersey' after French fishermen threatened to blockade Calais

Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron (pictured) are set to hold emergency 'peace talks' to end the 'Battle of Jersey' after French fishermen threatened to blockade Calais

Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron (pictured) are set to hold emergency 'peace talks' to end the 'Battle of Jersey' after French fishermen threatened to blockade Calais

Boris Johnson (left) and Emmanuel Macron (right) are set to hold emergency ‘peace talks’ to end the ‘Battle of Jersey’ after French fishermen threatened to blockade Calais

About 70 French trawlers (several seen above) staged a protest at Jersey's capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived

About 70 French trawlers (several seen above) staged a protest at Jersey's capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived

About 70 French trawlers (several seen above) staged a protest at Jersey’s capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived

The standoff came after some French boats were refused licences to fish in Jersey's waters under post-Brexit rules. In response, French minister Annick Girardin warned that Paris could cut off electricity to Jersey. Pictured: Saint Helier

The standoff came after some French boats were refused licences to fish in Jersey's waters under post-Brexit rules. In response, French minister Annick Girardin warned that Paris could cut off electricity to Jersey. Pictured: Saint Helier

The standoff came after some French boats were refused licences to fish in Jersey’s waters under post-Brexit rules. In response, French minister Annick Girardin warned that Paris could cut off electricity to Jersey. Pictured: Saint Helier

Why are Jersey and France warring over fishing rights?

What were the pre-Brexit arrangements for fishing waters?  

Until January 1 this year, the UK was subject to the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). That meant that fleets from EU states had equal access to the the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of other countries.  

EEZ areas stretch 200 nautical miles from the coast of each state, or to a maritime halfway point between neighbouring countries. The British fishing industry had long complained that the arrangements meant EU fleets were plundering what should be their catch.   

What has changed?

The post-Brexit trade deal sealed between Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen before Christmas gave EU fleets transitional rights to UK fishing waters. The EU fishing quota for UK waters was reduced by 15 per cent this year, and will go down another 2.5 percentage points each year until 2026.

From that point the UK will in theory have the right to ban the bloc’s fishing fleets altogether, although there will need to be annual negotiations. Crucially for the current situation, UK and EU vessels now require a licence to fish in each other’s waters. 

What are the French angry about? 

A row has erupted over the specific regulations introduced by the Jersey government to implement the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. They require French boats to demonstrate they have a history of fishing in Jersey’s waters in order to get licences, with Jersey adamant that is what the TCA sets out. However, the French authorities claim these ‘new technical measures’ for accessing waters off the Channel Islands have not been communicated to the EU.

As a result they have been dismissed as ‘null and void’. There are also disputed allegations that Jersey has been dragging its heels in approving licences for boats that have applied. 

So, what could happen now and would it ever REALLY end in war?

There is a huge amount of sabre-rattling going on, with the UK deploying the navy to counter an extraordinary blockage by French fishing vessels. French ministers have been backing their fishing fleet, threatening to cut power to the Channel Island in retaliation. When such confrontations develop there is always the risk of a miscalculation and real clashes.

Boris Johnson has urged the French to use the ‘mechanisms of our new treaty to solve problems’ rather than resort to threats. There are rumours of a call between Mr Johnson and Emmanuel Macron, although No10 said there is nothing arranged yet.

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Government officials have said relations between Britain and France were ‘not where we want them to be’ after the face-off in the Channel.

Mr Johnson and Mr Macron are understood to be speaking in the next few days to try to salvage the alliance.

A senior government source told the Times [3]they were both hoping to ‘dial down the rhetoric’ before the G7 summit in June.

The insider said: ‘We’re a bit like a pair of brothers. We’re the closest allies and there is no fundamental unhappiness but things are bumpy.’

President of Jersey Fishermen’s Association Don Thompson said the incident followed ‘some pretty extreme threats’ from the French.

‘Our expectations were that things probably weren’t going to get out of hand, but on the other hand if you consider a Government-level threat to sever electricity ties that would have meant hospitals being shut down,’ he said.

‘In other parts of the world if something like that happened to Iran or Russia or other countries, other states, that would be considered almost an act of war.’

Mr Thompson added: ‘The real hardship genuinely is on this side and I’m seeing my colleagues going out of business, fishermen that have done nothing else all their life, made a commitment to the industry since they were very young, having to sell their boats and walk away from the industry.’

He called for a ‘show of good faith from France’ in what is a ‘highly political’ situation affected by the repercussions of the Brexit referendum.

‘Jersey people didn’t even vote, didn’t even have the right to vote in Brexit. Everything that’s happened here in the way that we’ve become a third world state is entirely by default and it’s really unfortunate that we seem to be coming under the spotlight and being accused of using the Brexit scenario to our advantage when actually the opposite is true.’

The first physical standoff ensued yesterday when a flotilla of tiny French fishing vessels took to Jersey where two Royal Navy ships met them.

HMS Tamar and HMS Severn returned to the mainland today after the retreat by the French vessels.

But in a sign the row is far from over, the fishermen last night threatened to blockade Calais, saying they would stop British goods from entering the EU unless all of their boats were allowed to fish in Jersey’s waters.

Up to 8,500 trucks travel through the French port each day. Oliver Lepretre, chairman of the Northern France fisheries committee, said: ‘The fishermen are saying that if we don’t get what we want, we will go and block Calais.’

Mr Lepretre said a protest was possible ‘within a few days’ and trawlers from Normandy could carry out copycat action at the port of Cherbourg.

He said Eurocrats at the European Commission ‘needed to move their a***’ and trigger the retaliatory measures laid out in the Brexit agreement struck with Britain last year.

He added: ‘[The British] are blocking our boats by any means possible.’

A Government source hit back, saying: ‘The difficulties the French claim to have should be resolved by dialogue, not endless blockades.

‘We also have a newly ratified trade agreement with appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms if needed. This sort of disruption benefits no one.’

Britain is asking French trawlers to provide electronic tracking data from 2012 to 2016 to prove historical fishing links to British and Channel Islands waters.

But Mr Lepretre said many French vessels were not fitted with GPS technology at the time.

He added: ‘We knew that there would be problems with fishing. We said that a war would come from French fisheries.’

Mr Johnson said he was ‘pleased that the situation in Jersey has been resolved’. The Prime Minister thanked the Royal Navy for its ‘swift response’, adding: ‘The UK will always stand resolutely by the people of Jersey.’

Locals watch as French fishing boats leave Jersey waters following their protest in front of the port of Saint Helier, with a Royal Navy ship in the background

Locals watch as French fishing boats leave Jersey waters following their protest in front of the port of Saint Helier, with a Royal Navy ship in the background

Locals watch as French fishing boats leave Jersey waters following their protest in front of the port of Saint Helier, with a Royal Navy ship in the background 

French fishermen said they were ready to restage the Battle of Trafalgar as they descended on the harbour this morning. But by 1.30pm navigation charts showed the armada had given in and was sailing back towards their home waters

French fishermen said they were ready to restage the Battle of Trafalgar as they descended on the harbour this morning. But by 1.30pm navigation charts showed the armada had given in and was sailing back towards their home waters

French fishermen said they were ready to restage the Battle of Trafalgar as they descended on the harbour this morning. But by 1.30pm navigation charts showed the armada had given in and was sailing back towards their home waters

He had earlier voiced his ‘unequivocal support’ for the actions taken by Jersey’s government.

A Government spokesman added: ‘We are pleased that French fishing boats have now left the vicinity of Jersey.

‘Given the situation is resolved for now, the Royal Navy offshore patrol vessels will prepare to return to port in the UK.

‘We remain on standby to provide any further assistance Jersey requests.’

It is understood Mrs Girardin is refusing to speak to Environment Secretary George Eustice over the issue. And Paris has yet to trigger the official Brexit dispute resolution mechanism.

France’s hardline Europe minister Clement Beaune, a close ally of president Emmanuel Macron, dismissed the deployment of Navy gunships, saying: ‘We won’t be intimidated by these manoeuvres.’

In response to Britain’s move, the French maritime authority for the Channel sent a pair of armed police patrol boats to Jersey ‘to ensure the protection of human life at sea’.

During yesterday’s protest at St Helier, local fishermen said flares were let off and some of the French boats entered the harbour for around an hour.

Footage posted online apparently shows a French boat ramming the stern of a Jersey vessel.

An onlooker at the port in Jersey captured the moment a British vessel (right hand side of image) is forced to spin around to avoid a side-on collision with a French boat seen hurtling towards it. The brown French vessel does end up smacking into the side of the British boat without causing significant damage

An onlooker at the port in Jersey captured the moment a British vessel (right hand side of image) is forced to spin around to avoid a side-on collision with a French boat seen hurtling towards it. The brown French vessel does end up smacking into the side of the British boat without causing significant damage

An onlooker at the port in Jersey captured the moment a British vessel (right hand side of image) is forced to spin around to avoid a side-on collision with a French boat seen hurtling towards it. The brown French vessel does end up smacking into the side of the British boat without causing significant damage

The skipper of one French vessel even claimed they were ready to ‘restage the Battle of Trafalgar’, but another, Ludovic Lazaro, soon announced the blockade was over, adding: ‘Now it’s down to the ministers to find an agreement. We are not going to be able to do much.’

Eurocrats backed France in the row, claiming Britain had created ‘additional conditions’ for issuing licences to French trawlers.

European Commission spokesman Vivian Loonela said the rules were a breach of the Brexit treaty.

The Jersey government has said that of the 41 French boats that applied for licences last Friday, 17 were unable to provide the evidence needed to carry on fishing in the island’s waters.

Dimitri Rogoff, president of the Normandy fishing committee, said: ‘Fishermen shouldn’t be the ones blockading Jersey to get what they want.

‘If we don’t obtain our goals, the minister needs to turn off the lights.’

The French government last night said it was acting in a ‘spirit of responsibility’ in response to a ‘British failure’ to abide by the terms of the Brexit trade deal.

The Liberal Democrats yesterday criticised the Government’s ‘gunboat diplomacy’, adding: ‘When our governments disagree we should resolve our differences with grown-up conversation and negotiation, not with cannons in the Channel.’

Meanwhile Portsmouth MP Ms Mordaunt wrote to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to stop the AQUIND Interconnector.

She told the News[4]: ‘Recent events are further evidence that the interconnector is not in our national interest.

‘It will make us less resilient, it’s a strategic error and it potentially will undermine further negotiations that we may wish to have with the EU and certainly member states.’

She also described the threat to cut off electricity to Jersey by France’s maritime minister Ms Girardin as ‘sinister’.

Read more:

References

  1. ^ Jack Newman (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ James Gant For Mailonline (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Times (www.thetimes.co.uk)
  4. ^ News (www.portsmouth.co.uk)

Freight zone consultation looks to lighten the load around villages near Leighton Buzzard

Plans for Buckinghamshire’s first ever ‘freight zone’ to control the movement of HGVs in and around the Ivinghoe area take a step closer today (May 7) with the start of a four-week public consultation on the detail of the legal traffic regulation order.

Proposed for the areas around Ivinghoe, Cheddington and Mentmore, the zone sits within defined boundaries, east of the A418, north of the A41 and west of the B489, and follows two years of research, monitoring, discussions, public engagement and detailed planning with the local community.

The traffic regulation order (TRO) proposes a 7.5 tonne weight limit on vehicles travelling through the zone, however, there will be an exception for vehicles travelling to destinations within the zone. This means deliveries and collections to local homes and businesses can continue unaffected.

Lorry at Brownlow Bridge near IvinghoeLorry at Brownlow Bridge near Ivinghoe
Lorry at Brownlow Bridge near Ivinghoe

Monitoring in November 2019 showed an average of 254 HGVs per week passed through the proposed zone, heading for destinations further afield, nearly half (47%) of the total HGV traffic in the area.

Buckinghamshire Council’s Corporate Director for Planning, Growth and Sustainability, Ian Thompson said that the zone would bring benefits to the community and encouraged people to take part in the consultation and give their views.

“A zone like this can clearly reduce the level of traffic by removing a significant number of HGVs that simply pass through the area. The TRO will help reduce the negative impacts on local residents, buildings and the environment, while of course still allowing local lorry deliveries to be made.

“Over the next four weeks, we want to hear from anyone who might be affected to give their views on the detail of the proposed TRO to help us finalise arrangements.”

Mr Thompson added: “Subject to the feedback received, the scheme could be fully operational later in the year which would be great news for everyone.”

Public engagement on the concept of the freight zone took place early last year and was widely supported by local residents, businesses and community groups. It included dialogue with parish councils, local councillors and businesses, along with exhibitions and a survey which received 332 responses.

Alternatively you can email comments to [email protected][1] or by writing to: Ivinghoe Freight Zone Consultation, Design Services, Transport for Bucks, Aylesbury Vale Area Office, Corrib Industrial Park, Griffin Lane, Aylesbury, HP19 8BP. The consultation closes on June 3.

References

  1. ^ [email protected] (www.leightonbuzzardonline.co.uk)

The French fishermen blockade in Jersey was a political spectacle – but we’re all sour on the Brexit deal – CityAM

Brexit provided a bright spotlight for ports and shipping. The latest dramatic escalation of tensions as French fisherman turned up, armed with flares, at the Jersey port of St Helier, has once again thrown fishing onto centre stage. 

Jersey is an easy target. They rely on an undersea cable, connected to France, for their electricity. In turn, French fishermen previously enjoyed unencumbered access to Jersey’s fishing waters, access foiled by a Brexit deal which means they must apply for a license. The French maritime minister Annick Girardin threatened to cut the power completely if Jersey did not relinquish red tape and let the trawlers back in. It’s an old-fashioned political skirmish. 

Given the ferocity of the standoff, you would be forgiven for thinking the fishing deal Britain eventually secured was worth fighting for. While the UK has a vibrant and active fishing industry, around 80 per cent of UK landings are exported. The overwhelming majority of these go to European markets and buyers.

The new customs and border controls at European ports which receive UK cargo mean there have been drastic changes for our exporters. New border processes impact transport times and, as a result, the quality and value of perishable cargoes.

Fish landed in Scotland, the South West of England or Wales were previously ferried across by lorry to Boulogne and Zeebrugge.  Documentary requirements, new procedures and costly delays have created significant teething difficulties. Similar controls will be introduced at UK ports in January 2022.

Indeed at the turn of this year some fishing activities were threatened because of a lack of confidence in the process. There was a partial collapse of certain fish prices in the UK and a number of British fishing vessels wound up landing their catches in European ports to avoid the issues created by Brexit. 

So what, you may ask? Well this was and is costly to those ports and coastal communities in the UK and to those sectors who rely on fish landings and associated maritime activities. In other words: jobs and revenue. The French fishermen aren’t the only ones sour about the deal. 

Much was made by certain sections of the fishing industry about the positives of Brexit but the UK’s departure has created new headaches for the sector. Standoffs in the channel are not new. Aggression in the waters and the ports is an age-old tradition fishermen have not tired of. But it is bad for business and bad for jobs. 

For a place like Jersey, their ports are a lifeline. The drums of war in St Helier should be a warning for leaders to prioritise diplomacy over a political spectacle.

‘Selfish’ Sports Direct driver blasted for thoughtless Edinburgh parking

Edinburgh’s top transport official has taken aim at a “selfish” Sports Direct delivery driver who parked an articulated lorry across a pedestrian crossing.

Transport and environment convener[1] Lesley McInnes slammed a driver for the Mike Ashley-owned sporting goods firm after images appeared on social media showing the thoughtless courier unloading stock to a store in Fountainbridge.

According to a post on Twitter, the lorry driver told a furious passerby that he was permitted to leave the massive vehicle blocking traffic[2] lights and the pavement by signage stating that loading was allowed before 8am as he carried out a delivery to fellow Frasers Group brand Evans Cycles.

That was despite a specific loading bay for the Fountainbridge outlet being located just 100 yards further up the road.

It meant the driver was directly contravening rule 191 of the highway code, stating that those in command on a vehicle “must not park on a crossing or on an area covered by zig-zag road markings.”

And it earned the ire of councillor McInnes, who lambasted the firm for failing to properly educate its drivers[3].

“Remarkably wrong from a professional driver- to the best of my knowledge both illegal and selfish,” she posted.

“Need for better company training of its drivers.”

It comes just 24 hours after online retail giant Amazon launched an investigation into erratic parking by one of their own delivery drivers after they were spotted wedged into a new spaces for people cycle lane in Tollcross.

Sports Direct has been contacted for comment

References

  1. ^ Transport and environment convener (www.edinburghlive.co.uk)
  2. ^ traffic (www.edinburghlive.co.uk)
  3. ^ its drivers (www.edinburghlive.co.uk)

ADS Advance – Intradco Global debuts Pig Lift at Stansted

in Aerospace[1]

Posted 6 May 2021 · Add Comment[2]

Gatwick based Intradco Global has introduced their brand new innovative Pig Lift at Stansted Airport last week, with 1,030 purebred registered breeding pigs as its first passengers.

Image courtesy Intradco Global

Gatwick based Intradco Global has introduced their brand new innovative Pig Lift at Stansted Airport last week, with 1,030 purebred registered breeding pigs as its first passengers.

The innovative Intradco Global Pig Lift comprises of a custom-converted van which has been modified to enable pigs to transfer from their lorry transport to their crates, at varying heights, without having to navigate any ramps.

Both the front and the back of the Pig Lift can be powered with the touch of the button to ascend and descend, to accurately meet the pigs at the level they are at on their lorry and the level of crate they are walking onto.

Without such technology, pigs must walk up and down sometimes steep ramps, which is not only potentially dangerous, but can also be stressful for them. Intradco Global’s Pig Lift puts the pigs’ safety and happiness at the forefront of the process.
 
The Pig Lift’s debut was on April 27th 2021 at Stansted Airport (STN), where 1,030 purebred registered breeding pigs were its first passengers. They were transferred from multi-storey lorries, that had travelled from Northamptonshire, onto two and three storey crates without the need to use any ramps or any moving parts that had to be manually adjusted.

The pigs then travelled on a Boeing 747-8F aircraft to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) in China, with a short stopover in Kazakhstan to freshen their food and water supplies.

Intradco Global’s Pig Lift is just one example of the company’s commitment to cutting-edge charter equipment with a focus on safety, comfort and animal welfare. Their livestock stalls, equine loading ramp and even their bespoke giraffe crates are just some of the equipment that is widely regarded as ‘best-in-class’ and now the Pig Lift can join that list too.

References

  1. ^ Aerospace (www.adsadvance.co.uk)
  2. ^ 11 Comments (www.adsadvance.co.uk)