Britain has attacked France for “unacceptable” threats to cut off Jersey’s electricity supplies in a row over Brexit fishing rights with government sources warning that not even the Channel Island’s Nazi occupiers sank so low. Annick Giradin, the French maritime minister, said on Tuesday that Paris could shut down three undersea cables that provide Jersey with 95 percent of its electricity if the dispute over fishing licences in its waters were not resolved. Should France carry out its threat, there appears to be little the UK Government could do to provide alternative means of power. The remaining 5pc of the largest Channel Island’s energy mix is largely on-island diesel generators. "At least when the Germans invaded they kept the lights on," a government source said, referring to the five years of occupation during World War Two. "The problem is there is no undersea connector to Jersey, so it's not as though we could turn on a switch if they turn one off," another source said. A third source said that the "surprising and disappointing" French threat was just the latest in a string of confrontations sparked by the EU and its members since Brexit. "This is just the latest example of the EU issuing threats as a first resort at any sign of difficulty. They should be using the mechanisms of our new Treaty to solve problems; that is exactly what it is there for." The UK-EU trade deal has a series of dispute resolution procedures, which can ultimately lead to the imposition of fines or trade tariffs. A government spokesperson said, "To threaten Jersey like this is clearly unacceptable and disproportionate. “We are working closely with the EU and Jersey on fisheries access provisions following the end of the Transition Period so trust the French will use the mechanisms of our new treaty to solve problems.” “We are ready to use these retaliation measures," Ms Girardin told lawmakers in the French parliament on Tuesday. "I am sorry it has come to this. We will do so if we have to." Jersey is a self-governing British Crown Dependency and, according to Defra, responsible for fishing in its territorial waters but its international relations are the UK’s responsibility. The row came after the island implemented new requirements under the terms of the UK-EU trade deal for boats to submit evidence of their past fishing activities in order to receive a licence to carry on operating in Jersey waters. Jersey's External Relations Minister, Senator Ian Gorst told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "This is not the first threat that the French have made to either Jersey or the United Kingdom since we are into this new deal.” "It would seem disproportionate to cut off electricity for the sake of needing to provide extra details so that we can refine the licences." Mr Gorst said the Jersey government was now seeking permission from London and Brussels to speak directly with the French fishermen to resolve the issue. He said the island was not seeking to bar boats which had historically fished in Jersey waters and said that of the 41 boats which sought licences under the new rules last Friday, all but 17 had provided the evidence required. France threatened to to block any EU decision granting the City of London access to the Single Market unless the UK met its fishing commitments in late April as French fishermen blockaded lorries carrying British catch. They accused the government of dragging their feet over the issuing of licences to small French vessels in the 6-12 nautical mile zone of UK territorial waters. Maritime minister with a 'pirate's soul' By Henry Samuel The French minister who has threatened to turn the lights off in Jersey is a fisherman’s daughter who claims she has a "pirate's soul". Annick Girardin, 56, is from a seafaring family, her father was a fisherman who opened a bakery after an accident. She was born in the Breton port of Saint-Malo, whose wealth was in part derived from corsairs, also known as privateers or plain pirates by the British, whose ships they plundered on behalf of the French Crown in the 17th and 18th centuries. Atop the fortified port today stands a statue of Robert Surcouf, the notorious "king of the corsairs" who points towards the "enemy", namely Great Britain. Her background makes her perhaps the most likely of all of Macron's ministers to take rows over fishing in the Channel personally. An MP for the French autonomous Saint Pierre and Miquelon islands, off Newfoundland, Ms Girardin hails from the Left but was picked by centrist President Emmanuel Macron to run the overseas territories ministry in 2017. She is no stranger to tough situations; when she arrived on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion prey to Yellow Vest protests in 2018, she had to be exfiltrated to avoid being lynched. Once claiming she had a "pirate’s soul", she became a mother at the age of 15 and a half and has "a thick skin after all the trials in her life", according to Paris Match. Last July, she was appointed minister of the Sea, a function resurrected by the Macron government - it had only existed in two previous ones since the War - reportedly with Brexit in mind and to "accelerate (France's) maritime strategy". Due to its numerous overseas departments and territories scattered all over the oceans, France has the second-largest exclusive economic zone in the world after America. When she took up the post, Ms Girardin tweeted: "With more than 11 million square kilometres of maritime territory in France, more than 391,000 jobs, ten per cent of the world's biodiversity, the challenges are huge." She is known for being a straight-talking "grassroots politician" with a "relaxed" dress sense but there have been reports of criticism over her political style and tensions with Mr Macron, which his office has denied.