‘Surrender by teatime!’ French fishermen mocked over short-lived protest and war threat

Jersey: French boats protest in St Helier port waters

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Dozens of French fishing boats descended on the port of St Helier early on Thursday morning. Two Royal Navy vessels, HMS Severn and HMS Tamar, were deployed amid fears of a blockade.

But by Thursday afternoon the flotilla had scattered and was heading back to France.

However, one French fisherman warned: “We will go back, and next time it will be war. It’ll be just like in the Port-en-Bessin.”

Express.co.uk readers mocked the French fishermen over their brief protest and the threat of war.

Commenting on this website, one said: “They soon hoisted the white flags.”

Another wrote: “Glad to see the back of the French. Come to think of it that’s all you ever do see of the French if there is a war about!”

A third commented: “If France is involved it won’t be a long war.”

Another posted: “If they do come back – it will be the usual story. Surrender by teatime.”

A fifth called for tough action against the French fishermen involved in the protest, saying: “Every boat in the blockade should have its licence removed FOREVER to fish in UK and Jersey waters!”

One more fumed: “EU have been allowed to decimate our waters for far too long.

“Thank god Boris is listening to the voice of the English people and taking back what is ours.

“The EU should never have been given so much access to our waters and stock which destroyed our own industry and towns that depended on it.”

About 60 boats took part in the protest around the port which came days after French maritime minister Annick Girardin threatened to cut off electricity to Jersey if the fishing dispute was not resolved.

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Some let off flares and footage posted online appeared to show a French vessel ramming the rear of a Jersey boat.

The fishing row erupted after the Jersey government said French boats would be required to obtain a licence to fish in the island’s waters under the terms of the post-Brexit trade deal with the EU which came into force last week.

The move sparked anger from French fishermen who complained boats which had operated there for years were suddenly having their access to the fisheries restricted.

Under the new rules, French boats which want to fish in Jersey’s waters need to prove they have history of previously working in those waters to keep operating.

Jersey’s external relations minister, Ian Gorst, said that of the 41 boats which sought licences under the new rules last Friday, all but 17 had provided the evidence required.

The Royal Navy will continue to keep a watch on events but the two vessels deployed to the Channel Island were ordered back to port after the French protest ended.

The UK Government will now work with France and Jersey in a bid to resolve the dispute before it escalates further.

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