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Royal Navy deployed to monitor fishing grounds on January 1?

(B2) Four Royal Navy ships have been put on alert to protect British waters from trawlers from the European Union from January 1, in the event of no deal

HMS Trent during Operation Sea Guardian (Credit: Royal Navy)

The information was revealed by the British daily The Guardian. Four high seas patrol vessels will be put on alert to be able to intercept European fishing vessels (French, Belgian, Spanish, etc.) which venture into the British exclusive economic zone (EEZ) after December 31, without authorization.

A preventive deployment

These 90-meter-long vessels will thus have the power to arrest, inspect and confiscate » fishing boats from EU countries caught in violation in the event of no deal after the fateful date when the United Kingdom will definitively separate from the European Union. A long-planned deployment. “ The defense is ready for a range of scenarios at the end of the transition period “Said a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense to the British daily.

A state position at sea

This deployment will not really surprise those familiar with maritime issues. The navy has always been mobilized to defend national waters. The British have not forgotten the long 'cod war' with the Icelanders in the 1950s to 1970s. We remember the 'tuna war' between French sailors and the Spanish navy (and vice versa) in the middle of 1990s. But today, it sounds more like a warning in an ongoing, difficult and bitter negotiation between Europeans and British.


This attitude is considered irresponsible by Tobias Ellwood, the (Conservative) chairman of the House of Commons Defense Committee. " Global threats are increasing, the navy is overwhelmed. We are pitting ourselves here against a NATO ally while, under the same sea, the increased activity of Russian submarines and drones goes unchecked. Our friends (United States) look at us with dismay. Our enemies (China and Russia) with joy. » « Let's raise our game and make a deal », concludes the man who was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defense in David Cameron's government alongside Liam Fox, and is a former member of the Royal Green Jackets (from which he left with the rank of captain).

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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