“A little error in the beginning leads to a great one in the end.” St Thomas Aquinas
"France, Italy, Spain, and England will be at war. Blood will flow in the streets. Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept. 1846 (Published by Mélanie 1879)
Your move, Macron: Boris Johnson sends two Royal Navy vessels armed with cannon and machine guns to stop French fishermen from blockading Jersey in dramatic escalation of conflict with Paris over post-Brexit fisheries
Boris Johnson last night sent two Royal Navy gunships to Jersey 'as a precaution' in a major escalation of the 'unacceptable' row with France over post-Brexit fishing rights. Armed with cannon and machine guns, the vessels will patrol the Channel after Paris warned yesterday it could cut off electricity to the British Crown dependency which is largely supplied via an undersea cable. It is understood the Prime Minister made the decision to deploy the patrol boats after intelligence suggested a fleet of 100 fishing boats was threatening to block all access to the port at Saint Helier this morning. French maritime minister Annick Girardin yesterday accused Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, of dragging its feet over issuing new licences to French fishing boats. She said France was ready to take 'retaliatory measures' – suggesting it could cut power to Jersey, which receives 95 per cent of its electricity from France. Maritime tracking websites last night showed that HMS Severn was en route to Jersey 'to conduct maritime security patrols'. It is an older Batch 1 patrol vessel equipped with 20mm cannons and 7.62mm machine guns. HMS Tamar, a Batch 2 vessel with a 30mm MK44 Bushmaster cannon, has also been deployed.
The Ministry of Defence said: 'HMS Severn and HMS Tamar are deploying to Jersey to conduct maritime security patrols. This is a strictly precautionary measure and has been agreed with the Jersey Government.' It is understood that the ships, based in Portsmouth, are due to arrive today. Last night's move evokes memories of the Cod Wars which took place in the North Atlantic during the 1970s, when at times the Royal Navy stopped Icelandic boats from interfering with British trawlers. The row is the result of Jersey implementing 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 its waters. Source