I tuned in to a programme the other day to hear that Jersey is facing the threat of its electricity supply being switched off by France, from where 90% of its energy comes. The French administration is demanding greater access for French fishing boats in Jersey waters, but in such a way as to effectively swamp the local fishing industry.
As I understand matters, the threat was being taken seriously enough for Jersey to be considering firing up an old oil-fired power station that was due for closure, in order to keep the lights from going out. (As they so sadly have done for up to 23 hours a day in the present crisis and economic meltdown in Beirut now).
Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the scale of problems now developing between France and the UK. France is beginning to suggest – to threaten, even – that it might turn off the interconnectors that help supply electricity here across the Channel. Seeing relationships with our nearest ally at such a low point is seriously distressing, and it will take something remarkable to happen for there to be any marked improvement. France is understandably upset at losing the lucrative submarine contact with Australia, but Britain does not appear to be particularly to blame for the current rift.
Rather, this article in the Telegraph demonstrates that these are no light-weight matters, and firmly places responsibility for this state of affairs on President Macron who, desperate to be re-elected, and well aware that his country is tilting further and further towards the right, has been playing the nationalist game for all it is worth.
Lord, France means a great deal to those of us who have lived and worked there, or enjoyed special holidays there. So much trust and good will has been forfeited by Brexit – but the tensions and pressures were actually there long before the official separation happened. We are praying relationships to be improved and restored at state and governmental level and for ties of friendship to resurface to defuse the present tensions – and to aid the path towards greater cooperation in the days ahead. Amen.
See also our post Focus on France in prayer to help us trace its strong humanist and secularist stance . . . May the Lord delight to raise up a whole raft of godly initiatives and to break through in each one of them!
May these exquisite versions of Psalm 67, composed and sung by Linda Entwistle, firstly in English and then in French inspire us to pray.
And an instrumental version for you to enjoy.