Revealed: How fake news was posted to discredit the UK

Graham Charles Lear
5 min readNov 3, 2021

No, UK & Jersey did NOT license 100 extra French boats to buy Macron’s climbdown

I expose Remainers’ rumour mill ramblings yesterday

Since Monday night when President Macron dramatically retreated from France’s midnight ultimatum to the UK and Jersey, reports have circulated in Remainer circles that the French President’s climbdown was ‘bought’ by the UK and Jersey accepting more French fishing vessels being licensed.

Let me put that right and expose them for what they are LIARS

The facts about UK and Channel Island licences for French boats

  1. The UK issued no new licences on Monday (prior to President Macron’s withdrawal of his ultimatum)
  2. Jersey agreed on temporary licences for 49 French boats on 27 Oct, BEFORE the French ultimatum was even issued.
  3. The UK, Jersey, and Guernsey have issued a total of 2,008 licences to EU fishing boats
  4. Jersey and Guernsey are NOT part of the UK, they are democratic, self-governing, Crown Dependencies
  5. There is no change — France must supply evidence for extra licences, as other EU countries have done.

“You’ll find that we gave the French the licences they were after. Truth eh!
#brexit #brexitreality”

Remainers are desperate to show that Macron won and the UK lost. Here is just one example:-

Posted on Twitter to Lord Frost

The above tweet also quoted a former Remainer MEP with 28,000 followers. In addition, various media have reported extra licences suddenly being added, immediately prior to President Macron’s retreat from his ultimatum.

There’s just one problem for these Remainers… And it involves something called “facts”.

Neither the United Kingdom nor Jersey has changed its position

Fact 1 — Did Jersey agree on Monday to 49 new licences for French boats? No.

Last Wednesday morning (27 Oct 2021) — BEFORE France’s ultimatum in the evening — Jersey officials had a meeting with French, EU, and UK officials at which it was agreed that 49 French vessels would be given temporary licences for the next three months. This is to give the French even more time to provide evidence that these boats have ever fished in Jersey’s waters before. This is something the French and the EU have been unable to do for many months.

Unsurprisingly the Jersey government was then taken aback by the French government’s ultimatum which was published that evening via Twitter. In a joint statement issued the following morning by Jersey’s Minister for Environment and the Minister for External Relations, they stated:

We are extremely disappointed at the French government’s announcement, made yesterday afternoon, pursuing an approach of retaliatory measures.”

“The outcome of that meeting [of last Wednesday morning] was that 162 French vessels will be licensed to fish in Jersey’s territorial waters from this Friday. Of the 162 licences, 113 are permanent… Vessels that receive a temporary licence will be able to fish in Jersey waters until 31 January 2022, to give them time to provide further data which is necessary to secure a permanent licence.”

Jersey Government statement on fishing, 28 Oct 2021

Did Jersey change its position on Monday, to persuade President Macron to withdraw his ultimatum? No. Did it license more French boats on Monday to buy off President Macron? No.

Jersey’s stance continues to be that it has licensed all French boats according to the rules. As a gesture of goodwill made BEFORE the French ultimatum they even gave temporary 3-month licences to almost 50 more.

Fact 2 — Did the UK issue more licences to French boats on Monday? No.

Yesterday a Downing Street spokesman said the talks were not taking place about “the underlying approach”. As ever the talks have continued to be technical, on a boat-by-boat basis. For clarity he added:

“No new licences were issued to French vessels over recent days.”

I checked the latest official data updated yesterday by the Marine Management Organisation (the UK Single Licensing Authority) and it is true that no new licences have been issued.

Did the UK change its position on Monday, to persuade President Macron to withdraw his ultimatum? No. Did it license more French boats on Monday to buy off President Macron? No.

Why can’t the French simply follow ‘the rule of law’ which the EU is so keen on?

On Monday the Chief Minister of Jersey, Senator John Le Fondré, gave an interview to Times Radio, during which he said he found it “difficult to understand” why many French boats hadn’t been able to produce the required information to obtain a licence. Prior to the new arrangements, licences were governed under the ‘Bay of Granville agreement’, he pointed out. This “laid down requirements for them to record their fishing records.”

Speaking about the 55 French boats which have not yet been granted either a temporary or permanent licence, Senator Le Fondré said: “Obviously if they come back tomorrow and say here’s the data, then they’ll get a licence.”

Over 2,000 licences were issued to the EU by UK, Jersey, and Guernsey

As of yesterday (02 Nov 2021), the UK had issued licences for 1,679 EU fishing vessels — 738 to the French alone. The Jersey government has issued 162 — all to the French.

Never mentioned is Jersey’s neighbour Guernsey, also a Crown Dependency, reporting separately. Guernsey has issued 167 temporary licences to EU fishing vessels. This takes the number of licences currently issued by the UK, Jersey, and Guernsey to the EU Commission to a grand total of 2,008. [Source: MMO, 02 Nov 2021]

Both the government of the UK and that of Jersey appear to have been consistent in their dealings with the French and with the EU.

‘Provide the necessary proof, even if it’s much flimsier than it should be, and we will issue a licence.’

Incidentally, some commentators seem to be unaware that the UK’s licences and Jersey’s licences are counted separately. The reason for this is simple. Jersey is a democratic self-governing Crown Dependency and it is not part of the United Kingdom.

Neither the EU Commission nor the EU Council seems prepared to back the French position in this conflict. The EU even decided to withdraw 17 French licence applications because the evidence was so lacking in any credibility. Off the record, some Jersey politicians and many Jersey and UK fishermen say that this also applies to many licences for French boats that have actually been granted.

As time rolls by, it is increasingly apparent that this French ‘issue’ is as manufactured as the EU’s issue with the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which led to the appalling N.I. Protocol.

The EU and the Irish government weaponised and quasi-annexed Northern Ireland. President Macron has weaponised the issue of sovereign UK waters and is using it to his own political advantage.

[ Sources: Government of Jersey | №10 | Times Radio | UK Marine Management Organisation | EU Commission ]

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.