They came, they saw, they went home. Dozens of French fishing vessels descended on Jersey today – before retreating after talks were held to ease tensions over post-Brexit fishing rights.
An estimated 70 boats approached St Helier, red flares raging and foghorns blasting.
Our Paris Correspondent Henry Samuel was on one of the French fishing boats that lay siege to the port. Watch video below of how he laughed uneasily at jokes of him being made to walk the plank.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson this afternoon said that two Royal Navy ships will remain stationed off Jersey until the blockade is resolved.
“We will go back, and next time it will be war,” said one of the famously hot-headed French fishermen. View all the best pictures from a day of high drama.
The stand-off is, at first glance, a row over logbooks, lobsters and licences. But it is the result of a perfect storm of British, French and European politics and, inevitably, Brexit.
Europe Editor James Crisp explains why the technicalities of fishing licences in the 12 miles around Jersey’s coasts are vitally important for French fishermen.
Patrick O’Flynn says that sending Royal Navy vessels might be a “stunt”, but argues it is a very good one.
And read The Telegraph‘s view that French belligerence is only the start of the fishing industry’s worries.
Elections pose huge test for leaders – and constitution
Much is at stake as millions of Britons vote for the first time in nearly two years. So-called Super Thursday is a huge test for Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer, who is fighting for his political survival. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just as much to prove when it comes to asserting his dominance in the former Red Wall. But Politics Live Editor Catherine Neilan says it is Scotland that has significant constitutional consequences – with opinion polls split. With voting open until 10pm today, Tom Harris argues that there is no reason to announce the results a day later. Follow live results and reaction overnight here. And our gallery has the best pictures of dogs at polling stations.
Team GB launches heat-resistant kit for Tokyo
It was accused of being “too blue” in 2012. But there is no mistaking the red on the new Team GB Olympic kit unveiled today. A red stripe within a deconstructed Union flag is the most prominent feature of the Adidas-designed clothing for the Tokyo Games this summer. It is also heat-resistant. Read our Fashion team’s verdict on the world’s kits. Meanwhile, the new England football crest featuring a cub, lion and lioness was dubbed “PC nonsense” and faced a backlash. See the “inclusive” design.
At a glance: Coronavirus evening briefing
Travel: Good news – and bad | Britain’s biggest tour operator has slashed the prices of PCR tests for holidaymakers to £20, more than half the cost of the cheapest to date. TUI is to offer the deal to travellers who book holidays with the company to green list destinations. Only a “tiny handful” of countries will initially be on the quarantine-free list. Meanwhile, Australia announced that its borders will remain closed to the majority of international arrivals for longer than expected.
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
Around the world: Questioning a way of life
When Covid hit New York’s close-knit ultra-orthodox Jewish community, it barrelled through it like a tornado. But the pandemic had a much more unpredictable impact too – leaving many to do the unthinkable: consider leaving and starting a life outside the community. Read US Correspondent Josie Ensor‘s dispatch from New York.
Thursday long-read: What I want men to understand about the menopause
Meg Mathews is one of the UK’s foremost menopause campaigners, determined to use her profile to end the stigma surrounding it. She reveals what she has learnt – and why it is not just a women’s issue. Read the full article.
Comment and analysis
Editor’s choice: Features and arts
Nothing but the best for you… | What a £2,000 dress tells us about Adele’s style
Bygone travel | In pictures: How much has the Lake District changed over the years?
Art attack | Has the Covid era destroyed our ability to tell good art from bad?
Business and money briefing
Economic boost | The Bank of England signalled rising confidence in the UK’s post-pandemic recovery after sharply upgrading its forecasts. It now believes growth will bounce back by 7.25pc this year as the economy reopens – much faster than the 5pc it forecast three months ago. Economics Editor Russell Lynch explains the momentum’s cause.
Lions squad revealed | Sam Simmonds has been named in the Lions squad, but Ireland captain Johnny Sexton is among several high-profile omissions. Chief Rugby Union Correspondent Gavin Mairs says Warren Gatland’s team choices are a slap in the face for Eddie Jones. And see Will Greenwood‘s player guide ahead of the South Africa tour.
Three things for tonight
And finally… for this evening’s downtime
‘It wouldn’t be published today’ | Thirty years ago, the exploits of a killer banker drew both outrage and plaudits. Bret Easton Ellis tells Jake Kerridge why American Psycho was branded “repellent”.
The Channel Tunnel is 31 miles long.
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