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Minister calls for closer links with ‘best ally’ EU

External Relations Minister Ian Gorst. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (30837477)
External Relations Minister Ian Gorst. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (30837477)

Senator Ian Gorst described the EU as ‘Jersey’s best ally’ in the current dispute over recognising historic fishing rights under the new Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement.

‘We have to make sure that, even if we are using the institutional mechanisms of the trade deal, we have to build and grow that direct relationship with the EU. We have been doing that because our interests are best served by having that positive relationship and making our case direct to them,’ Senator Gorst said.

The minister’s comments come after UK MP Andrew Rosindell, who chairs the Channel Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group, slammed the ‘flagrant aggression’ and ‘bullying’ tactics displayed by French politicians during the dispute. (Full story: Page 8.)

And in today’s Weekend Essay, former Bailiff, ex-External Relations Minister and constitutional law expert Sir Philip Bailhache argues that the recent fishing dispute is evidence of the ‘lamentable’ state of the relationship with Jersey’s nearest neighbours.

‘This sorry interlude is more evidence, if any were needed, of the desirability of Jersey taking greater responsibility for the conduct of its own foreign affairs,’ he said. ‘The current nonsense of communications from Normandy being sent to Paris for transmission to Brussels and then to London before arriving in St Helier is almost designed to create misunderstandings.’

He added: ‘This is a regional issue and disagreement and should be resolved locally. Neither London nor Paris, and certainly not Brussels, has any real interest in fishing in the Bay of Granville, other than, perhaps, as a proxy battle in the context of Brexit.’

Senator Gorst said that the licensing disagreement – which resulted in the recent blockade of the Harbour by French fishermen – had effectively brought Jersey into a larger argument about Brexit in the minds of some in France, and he highlighted the wider context of the disagreement.

‘The UK have given us their full support but we in St Helier have to be mindful that the UK has its own issues with fishing and the French, and so we’ve got to be very, very careful. It seems strange for a Jersey minister to be saying that our best ally in this is the EU but I think it is because the UK has potentially got issues with France, fishing and the EU, and they want one outcome to that,’ he said.

With technical negotiations between officials from Jersey, the UK, France and the EU scheduled for next week, Senator Gorst said that one of the advantages which Jersey had was its size, which gave it the ability to adopt a ‘more personal approach’ to try to resolve some of the issues around the historic rights of French fishermen.

He rejected comments by French maritime minister Annick Girardin – who has criticised the Jersey government for speaking directly to French fishermen – arguing instead that by working together they could deal with some of the issues associated with providing evidence of French entitlement to fish in local waters.

He said: ‘I don’t think it’s helpful at all to say that we shouldn’t communicate directly with fishermen. That wasn’t envisaged in the trade agreement, I accept that. But I do think there is value in it because we may be able to work through with individual fishermen’s licences and solve these problems on an individual, boat by boat, basis.

He added that he was disappointed that relations with politicians in Normandy, who have closed the Maison de Normandie in St Helier, had been adversely affected by the disagreement and he described a continuing dialogue as ‘part of the key to the answer’.

In a bid to defuse the current dispute, the Jersey government has extended the previous amnesty for French boats by a further two months but Senator Gorst said that negotiations were likely to become more complicated when the new licensing scheme was applied to smaller boats, which form the bulk of the local French fishing fleet.

He declined to commit himself on whether he would support any further extension of that deadline by the Environment Minister but rejected the suggestion that it should extend to the end of September with a reversion to the approach of the Granville Bay agreement, as suggested by Mme Girardin.

lSenator Gorst is the subject of today’s Saturday interview on pages 10 and 11.

Britain launched two warships against French fishermen

Seventeen fishing boats ran aground on Britain and France, but the London government also sent two warships to the Channel at dawn on Thursday.

The conflict has been exacerbated by two interpretations of the Brexit rules. Since Britain left the EU, there have been a number of complex methods for calculating where and to what extent European fishermen have access to the British Ocean. Although fisheries provide a very small part of the economies of the countries concerned, they also play a key political role in France, Belgium, Denmark and the United Kingdom, along with their strong unions, spectacular demonstrations and symbolic industries.

One of the ships sent by the British to the scene was the HMS Severn.Photo: GLYN KIRK / AFP

Now the heated debate began with the management of the island of Jersey in the Channel, which is owned by Britain, but is closer to the French coast one by one, and which French fishing vessel has the right to fish off the island again this year? .

In order to obtain a license, French ships had to prove that they had a “historic right” to fish – their vessel had been fishing for at least ten days in a 12-month period over the past three years. Anyone who proves this will be given a beacon identification system to place on fishing vessels longer than 12 meters, after which the British will leave them alone.

Of the applicants, 41 vessels were licensed in the current season, but 17 vessels were rejected. According to Jersey officials, exactly, according to French fishermen, unfair.

Port of St. Helier, Jersey.Photo: OLI SCARFF / AFP

Since then, the situation has escalated:

French fishermen announced on Thursday that they would be marching a hundred boats from the port of Jersey in front of St. Helier.

The Jersey leadership fears the march will be a siege and fishermen want to isolate the island from the outside world, so the island’s prime minister, John Le Fondre, has warned the London government.

Aid arrived immediately, two small warships were sent to the island, and HMS. Severn and HMS Tamar has been guarding the Jersey coast since Thursday.

The French government’s Minister of Maritime Affairs also got into the debate: Annie Gordin said the island would be without electricity if Jersey fishermen were treated unfairly. They can do this because they get electricity from France via three submarine cables from Jersey.

In response, a local oil mill was placed on standby on the island of Jersey so that electricity would be available even if the French closed them down. It will be more expensive and polluting than the current system, but it will not darken the island, local leaders promise.

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Sadiq Khan confirms he will expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone

Sadiq Khan confirms he will expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone that will cost up to 350,000 motorists £12.50-a-day to drive into London

  • Sadiq Khan will make the Ultra Low Emission Zone 18 times larger than it is now 
  • Owners of older, more-polluting vehicles must to pay £12.50 daily fee if in zone 
  • 100,000 more cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries must now pay the fee
  • TfL estimates total income from the expanded ULEZ, congestion charge and low emission zones, will hit £762million this financial year
  • Between 2022 and 2023, this number could hit £1.157billion, it estimates 

Sadiq Khan[2] has confirmed he will expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone in a move set to cost up to 350,000 motorists £12.50-a-day to drive into London[3].

The newly re-elected Mayor of London will make the zone 18 times larger than it is currently. 

The move will force owners of older, more-polluting vehicles that don’t comply with strict emission standards to pay a £12.50 daily fee – in addition to the congestion charge – if driving through the zone.

Around 100,000 more cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries will be affected. Lorries and buses who don’t pay the fees will be slapped with a £100 fine.

The AA put its estimate at the number of motorists affected at 350,000.

Transport for London has estimated its total income from the expanded ULEZ, along with congestion charge and low emission zones, will hit £762million this financial year.

Between 2022 and 2023, this number could hit £1.157billion. 

Sadiq Khan has confirmed he will expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone which is set to cost up to 350,000 motorists £12.50-a-day to drive into London (a London road, file image)

Sadiq Khan has confirmed he will expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone which is set to cost up to 350,000 motorists £12.50-a-day to drive into London (a London road, file image)

Sadiq Khan has confirmed he will expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone which is set to cost up to 350,000 motorists £12.50-a-day to drive into London (a London road, file image)

The newly re-elected Mayor of London will make the zone 18 times larger (expansion proposal, pictured) than it is currently

The newly re-elected Mayor of London will make the zone 18 times larger (expansion proposal, pictured) than it is currently

The newly re-elected Mayor of London will make the zone 18 times larger (expansion proposal, pictured) than it is currently

The move will force owners of older, more-polluting vehicles that don't comply with strict emission standards to pay a £12.50 daily fee - in addition to the congestion charge - if driving through the ULEZ (file image)

The move will force owners of older, more-polluting vehicles that don't comply with strict emission standards to pay a £12.50 daily fee - in addition to the congestion charge - if driving through the ULEZ (file image)

The move will force owners of older, more-polluting vehicles that don’t comply with strict emission standards to pay a £12.50 daily fee – in addition to the congestion charge – if driving through the ULEZ (file image)

Will your recent buy be hit by ULEZ charges? 

The Alliance of British Drivers has published a list of cars which will fall foul of ULEZ charges:

  • 2015 Citroen C3 Edition 1.6 Bluehdi 100 Edition 5dr 90bhp
  • 2015 Citroen C4 1.6 e-HDi Airdream VTR+ Hatchback 5dr Diesel 115bhp
  • 2015 Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic Style 5dr 94bhp
  • 2015 Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi 115 Zetec 5dr 113bhp
  • 2015 Fiat Panda 1.2 MULTIJET POP 5d 75 BHP
  • 2015 Fiat 500 Lounge1.3 Multijet 3dr 95bhp
  • 2015 Nissan Juke 1.5 ACENTA DCi 5 DOOR 110 BHP
  • 2015 Renault Clio 1.5 dCi ECO Expression + 5dr 90bhp
  • 2015 Toyota Auris 1.4 D-4D Excel (s/s) 5dr 90bhp
  • 2015 Vauxhall Corsa 1.3CDTi Ecoflex Design 94BHP
  • 2015 Vauxhall Astra 2.0 CDTi Ecoflex Elite 163 bhp
  • 2015 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi 16V Ecoflex Design 5dr 108bhp 
  • 2015 VW Golf hatch 1.6tdi Bluemotion tech S 104bhp
  • 2015 VW Golf Bluemotion 1.6tdi estate 108bhp
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Petrol cars must comply with the Euro 4 engine standards – usually vehicles registered from January 2006 – or face paying the fee. 

Meanwhile, diesel cars will need to pay up unless they meet the Euro 6 standard – meaning they were registered after September 2015. 

The capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone – which was introduced in 2019 – will cover the streets inside the North and South Circular roads under Khan’s new plans.

The move will come into force on October 25. 

Mr Khan said: ‘I pledge to be the greenest Mayor London’s ever had with a mandate from Londoners to put the environment and climate policies at the heart of my second term in office. Today I am reaffirming my commitment to speed up the cleaning of London’s toxic air.

‘In central London, the Ultra Low Emission Zone has already helped cut toxic roadside nitrogen dioxide pollution by nearly half and led to reductions that are five times greater than the national average. 

‘But pollution isn’t just a central London problem, which is why expanding the ULEZ later this year will benefit Londoners across the whole of the city and is a crucial step in London’s green recovery. 

‘There is no time to waste. We know pollution hits the poorest Londoners the hardest which is why I’m doing everything I can to improve the health for all Londoners.’

Jemima Hartshorn, founder of pollution campaign group Mums for Lungs, said: ‘Mums for Lungs has campaigned for an expansion of the ULEZ for over three years now, so we are glad that this scheme will be implemented very soon. 

‘The ULEZ in central London has really reduced NO2-pollution across the area, and more children will benefit from ULEZ expansion. 

‘But more is needed to ensure that London meets World Health Organization guidelines, so we call on the Mayor, national government, councils and business to work together to ensure breathing no longer harms the health of London’s children.’

Among the car models which will fall foul of the ULEZ charges are some 2015 Ford Focus, Fiat Panda, Citroen and Vauxhall Astra models.

The new ULEZ zone will operate 24 hours a day for seven days of the week within the same area of central London as the Congestion Charge.     

Research showed the health damage from cars and vans across the UK costs £6billion a year to the NHS and society, with the bill in London £650million.  

Officials said expanding the ULEZ – and stricter standards for heavy vehicles across London – would result in more than 100,000 Londoners no longer living in areas exceeding legal air quality limits in 2021.

All areas in the capital are expected to see reductions in pollution. 

Furthermore, research shows that those exposed to the worst air pollution are more likely to be deprived Londoners and from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. 

There is also emerging evidence linking air pollution with an increased vulnerability to the most severe impacts of Covid. 

Mr Khan has been pushing hard for London to spearhead new measures to reduce vehicle emissions in the capital since being sworn in as mayor in 2016.

This includes the introduction of the T-Charge in 2018 – which was superseded by ULEZ in 2019. 

Last year, a study by Environmental Defense Fund Europe found that harmful air pollution from diesel vehicles was 23 per cent higher outside London’s current ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ).

The study – which gathered pollution data from 231 sites in London and tracked levels of toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) – found the five worst locations were all outside the ULEZ. 

In 2018, Mr Khan (pictured) confirmed the extension of the ULEZ after growing concerns about rising pollution levels in the capital

In 2018, Mr Khan (pictured) confirmed the extension of the ULEZ after growing concerns about rising pollution levels in the capital

In 2018, Mr Khan (pictured) confirmed the extension of the ULEZ after growing concerns about rising pollution levels in the capital

NOx pollution is an umbrella term which includes nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which can lead to health issues like inflaming airways while aggravating existing heart and lung diseases.  

London has breached legal limits for NO2 since 2010 and last year it was revealed more than 2 million Londoners are living in areas exceeding legal air limits – including 400,000 children.  

As well as NOx, common pollutants from diesel include unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter – microscopic particles of matter.

Diesel vehicles pour out more ultra-fine particles than all other vehicles, which are the most toxic of the air pollution particles. 

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ULEZ 

 The ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) was introduced in London in April 2019. Here are some of the key questions around the scheme: 

What is it?  The ULEZ is a way of charging vehicles which emit the most nitrogen oxide for entering parts of London.

When does it apply?  The daily charge runs from midnight to midnight every day.

Where is it happening?  The scheme is initially within the same area as the congestion charging zone, before being expanded to within the North and South Circular roads from October 2021.

What vehicles are included?  All vehicles are affected apart from black taxis.

How much does it cost to enter the zone with an older vehicle?  It costs £12.50 for most vehicle types, including cars, motorcycles and vans. Heavier vehicles such as lorries, buses and coaches are liable for a £100 charge.

How can I avoid the charge?  To be exempt from the Ulez charge, petrol cars, vans and minibuses must meet the Euro 4 emissions standard and diesels must meet Euro 6. That means the oldest cars that can be driven in central London without paying are roughly a four-year-old diesel model or a 13-year-old petrol model.

What happens if I don’t pay?  If you fail to pay the charge, car drivers face a £160 Penalty Charge Notice (reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days). Lorry drivers will be handed a much larger fine of £1,000 (reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days).

What if I don’t know my vehicle’s emissions standard?  Drivers can check whether their vehicle is liable for a charge by entering its registration on the Transport for London website.

Why was ULEZ introduced?  London Mayor Sadiq Khan says the scheme will improve the capital’s air quality, which he says is responsible for thousands of premature deaths and other serious conditions.

Has there been any opposition to the scheme?  Conservatives on the London Assembly claim Mr Khan’s decision to introduce the scheme earlier than planned could catch out some motorists – particularly those from the poorest households – who have not already upgraded their vehicle to a newer model. They also warn that expanding the zone to the whole of inner London will not effectively tackle pollution and will affect people and businesses in areas with low pollution.

What vehicles are covered by ULEZ?

It’s not just cars and vans that will be subject to extra charges in London.

These ULEZ non-compliant vehicles will also be impacted:  

– Motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles, quadricycles

– 4X4 light utility vehicles and picksups

– Motorised horseboxes

– Ambulances and fire engines

– Motorcaravans

– Minibuses

– Lorries

– Buses and coaches

– Breakdown & recovery vehicles

– Snow ploughs and gritters

– Refuse collection vehicles and road sweepers

– Concrete mixers and tippers 

 

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References

  1. ^ Jemma Carr For Mailonline (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ Sadiq Khan (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  3. ^ London (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Greyhound cancels all intercity bus service in Canada

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