France plots to cut off Brexit Britain from power grid to keep control over fisheries

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French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian argued France intends to strong-arm the UK into giving its fishing vessels continued access into UK waters past 2026. Speaking to France 3 Bretagne, he said the French will be hoping to renew rather than change the current deal on fisheries the European Union agreed with Britain in December. He said, if the UK were to argue against this, France could threaten to make things difficult for the UK in the energy market post-Brexit.

He said: “In 2026, what would be the issue is the renewal of access to British waters and, in particular, access to the six to twelve-mile zone on which it will be necessary to discuss.

“But at that point, we planned to have some negotiating elements strong enough to say, ‘if you bother us on the fishing, we’ll bother you on the energy.

“And the British, on energy, I believe there are difficulties with the Bailiwick of Jersey.

“We will discuss this again but I am not too worried on condition of scoring the great vigilance what we will do each other.”

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Energy traders have voiced their concerns about the UK and EU relationship now the UK is officially out of the single market and the customs union.

The European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET) have said they expect there to be good basic future alignment and things to continue smoothly from the beginning of the year, however also highlighted some concerns they hold.

In a statement, the EFET said: “We trust the deal done now can provide a starting point for yet closer cooperation in the future.”

They added: “Cross-border capacity may not be optimally used because it will be priced too high or too low on either side of the border between the UK and the EU.

“This de-optimisation has a cost of its own and you can add to that the cost of uncertainty that market participants factor in when they book cross-border capacity.”

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The European Commission has also warned that following Brexit, power will flow less efficiently to the UK.

In a 40 page note, they said: “The EU-UK trade agreement foresees the possibility to develop, over time, separate arrangements for trade over interconnectors, based on a coupling model.

“However, any post-Brexit arrangement that will come out of those negotiations will be less efficient than market coupling used within the EU.”

A European Commission spokesperson reiterated these comments when speaking to EURACTIV.

They said: “Trade across electricity interconnectors with the UK continues, albeit less efficiently,

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“As of 1 January, the UK has to trade with the EU on third-country terms.

“This means trades over electricity interconnectors between the EU and the UK are no longer managed through existing EU single market tools, such as market coupling, which are “reserved to EU member states.

“For example, EU-UK interconnection capacities is now allocated explicitly.

“This means that market participants who want to flow power over the interconnectors for the next day have to buy transmission capacity from the interconnector operators in a first step.

“Subsequently, and in a separate process, they have to secure the quantities of electricity they wish to flow over the interconnectors.”

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