France

Breaking: UK and France on Brink of War, Navy Deployed

The miniature war being threatened in the English Channel between the United Kingdom and France continues to escalate in a bizarre fashion, with the Royal Navy now deploying forces to the Channel island of Jersey, which is currently besieged by a fleet of French fishermen angered by new restrictions on fishing imposed by the British exit from the European Union. Both governments have thus far refused to back down over the issue.

Fishermen ready to fight

Fishing rights have frequently been a major issue in Europe and the concerns have escalated with Brexit and the island of Jersey has been a major focus of contention.

The self-governing  British island, located off the coast of France, has increased restrictions on fishing licenses for French fishermen, particularly affecting the adjacent region of Normandy.

The tensions escalated when a fleet of dozens of French fishing vessels besieged Jersey. This was supposed to be a peaceful protest according to France, though locals understandably felt differently.

The intense fishing wars have turned violent, though fortunately not deadly, on occasion in recent years; in 2018 French and British vessels exchanged Molotov cocktails and rammed each other in a battle over scallops.

An incident in 2020 saw two British boats surrounded and pelted with frying pans and flares after straying too close to French waters.

As comical as wars over scallops and fish sound, both governments have taken the situation very seriously.

France and UK refuse to back down

France has threatened to cut off electricity to Jersey, which is powered primarily via underwater cables from the continent.

Two Royal Navy vessels were deployed in response to the threats, the HMS Severn and the HMS Tamar. France responded with naval policing boats, armed with machine guns.

Talks have been ongoing between the two countries, urged on by the United States government. Both nations are among the most important members of NATO.

Still, the media in both countries has been throwing the word “war” around as enthusiastically as the fishermen themselves have. France and Britain were historical rivals for centuries and continue to be cultural rivals, with varying degrees of seriousness.

With the issue now taking on increasingly nationalist and patriotic tones in both countries, neither government will have any desire to be the one which backs down first.

For now, at least, the sight of the Severn and the Tamar will certainly be a reminder to the world that Britannia is still capable of ruling at least the English Channel.

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