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HMS Tamar returns to Portsmouth after seeing off French fishermen

HMS Tamar sails home to Portsmouth after seeing off rowdy French fishermen with HMS Severn in the ‘Battle of St Helier’ off Jersey coast

  • HMS Tamar returned home to Portsmouth following her deployment to Jersey amid tensions with France
  • Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron will try to restore ‘brotherly’ relationship amid post-Brexit chaos
  • Furious French skippers threatened to block British goods from entering Calais over fishing rights
  • About 70 French trawlers protested at St Helier but gave up the blockade when two Royal Navy ships arrived 

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HMS Tamar sailed back to Portsmouth on Thursday after seeing off French fishermen together with HMS Severn off the Jersey coast.

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel has welcomed home after the French threatened to blockade Calais.

The vessel even showed off its shiny new paint job with different hues of grey as it returned to the naval base.

HMS Tamar sailed back to Portsmouth on Thursday after seeing off French fishermen together with HMS Severn off the Jersey coast

HMS Tamar sailed back to Portsmouth on Thursday after seeing off French fishermen together with HMS Severn off the Jersey coast

HMS Tamar sailed back to Portsmouth on Thursday after seeing off French fishermen together with HMS Severn off the Jersey coast

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar, arrives back into Portsmouth harbour

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar, arrives back into Portsmouth harbour

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar, arrives back into Portsmouth harbour

HMS Tamar returns home to the Naval Base this afternoon following her deployment to Jersey after tensions rose over fishing rights in the English Channel

HMS Tamar returns home to the Naval Base this afternoon following her deployment to Jersey after tensions rose over fishing rights in the English Channel

HMS Tamar returns home to the Naval Base this afternoon following her deployment to Jersey after tensions rose over fishing rights in the English Channel

Along with HMS Severn, she was deployed to monitor the blockage of Jersey's main port by French fishermen following a row over fishing rights

Along with HMS Severn, she was deployed to monitor the blockage of Jersey's main port by French fishermen following a row over fishing rights

Along with HMS Severn, she was deployed to monitor the blockage of Jersey’s main port by French fishermen following a row over fishing rights

It comes as Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron are set to hold emergency ‘peace talks’ to end the ‘Battle of Jersey’. 

The world leaders, who control Europe’s two largest armies, will try to restore their ‘brotherly’ relationship amid the post-Brexit chaos.

Meanwhile a fishing leader from the island called for a ‘show of good faith’ from France after ‘some pretty extreme threats’. 

President of Jersey Fishermen’s Association Don Thompson said ‘the real hardship genuinely is on this side and I’m seeing my colleagues going out of business’.

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar (left), passes the Britanny Ferries' MV Normandie (right)

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar (left), passes the Britanny Ferries' MV Normandie (right)

The Royal Navy River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar (left), passes the Britanny Ferries’ MV Normandie (right)

The vessel even showed off its shiny new paint job with different hues of grey as it returned to the naval base

The vessel even showed off its shiny new paint job with different hues of grey as it returned to the naval base

The vessel even showed off its shiny new paint job with different hues of grey as it returned to the naval base

About 70 French trawlers staged a protest at Jersey's capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived

About 70 French trawlers staged a protest at Jersey's capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived

About 70 French trawlers staged a protest at Jersey’s capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived

The row over Channel fishing rights escalated last night after furious French skippers threatened to block UK goods from entering Calais.

About 70 French trawlers staged a protest at Jersey’s capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived.

The standoff came after some French boats were refused licences to fish in Jersey’s waters under post-Brexit rules.

In response, French minister Annick Girardin warned Paris could cut off electricity to Jersey.

The comment has led to former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt calling for a ‘halt’ to the AQUIND Interconnector project between France and Britain.

The Portsmouth MP said the £1.2billion project to transport power from the Continent to the UK should stop.

Boris Johnson (pictured with Carrie Symonds) and Emmanuel Macron are set to hold emergency 'peace talks' to end the 'Battle of Jersey' after French fishermen threatened to blockade Calais

Boris Johnson (pictured with Carrie Symonds) and Emmanuel Macron are set to hold emergency 'peace talks' to end the 'Battle of Jersey' after French fishermen threatened to blockade Calais

Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron (pictured) are set to hold emergency 'peace talks' to end the 'Battle of Jersey' after French fishermen threatened to blockade Calais

Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron (pictured) are set to hold emergency 'peace talks' to end the 'Battle of Jersey' after French fishermen threatened to blockade Calais

Boris Johnson (left) and Emmanuel Macron (right) are set to hold emergency ‘peace talks’ to end the ‘Battle of Jersey’ after French fishermen threatened to blockade Calais

About 70 French trawlers (several seen above) staged a protest at Jersey's capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived

About 70 French trawlers (several seen above) staged a protest at Jersey's capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived

About 70 French trawlers (several seen above) staged a protest at Jersey’s capital St Helier yesterday, before beating a retreat after two Navy gunships arrived

The standoff came after some French boats were refused licences to fish in Jersey's waters under post-Brexit rules. In response, French minister Annick Girardin warned that Paris could cut off electricity to Jersey. Pictured: Saint Helier

The standoff came after some French boats were refused licences to fish in Jersey's waters under post-Brexit rules. In response, French minister Annick Girardin warned that Paris could cut off electricity to Jersey. Pictured: Saint Helier

The standoff came after some French boats were refused licences to fish in Jersey’s waters under post-Brexit rules. In response, French minister Annick Girardin warned that Paris could cut off electricity to Jersey. Pictured: Saint Helier

Why are Jersey and France warring over fishing rights?

What were the pre-Brexit arrangements for fishing waters?  

Until January 1 this year, the UK was subject to the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). That meant that fleets from EU states had equal access to the the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of other countries.  

EEZ areas stretch 200 nautical miles from the coast of each state, or to a maritime halfway point between neighbouring countries. The British fishing industry had long complained that the arrangements meant EU fleets were plundering what should be their catch.   

What has changed?

The post-Brexit trade deal sealed between Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen before Christmas gave EU fleets transitional rights to UK fishing waters. The EU fishing quota for UK waters was reduced by 15 per cent this year, and will go down another 2.5 percentage points each year until 2026.

From that point the UK will in theory have the right to ban the bloc’s fishing fleets altogether, although there will need to be annual negotiations. Crucially for the current situation, UK and EU vessels now require a licence to fish in each other’s waters. 

What are the French angry about? 

A row has erupted over the specific regulations introduced by the Jersey government to implement the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. They require French boats to demonstrate they have a history of fishing in Jersey’s waters in order to get licences, with Jersey adamant that is what the TCA sets out. However, the French authorities claim these ‘new technical measures’ for accessing waters off the Channel Islands have not been communicated to the EU.

As a result they have been dismissed as ‘null and void’. There are also disputed allegations that Jersey has been dragging its heels in approving licences for boats that have applied. 

So, what could happen now and would it ever REALLY end in war?

There is a huge amount of sabre-rattling going on, with the UK deploying the navy to counter an extraordinary blockage by French fishing vessels. French ministers have been backing their fishing fleet, threatening to cut power to the Channel Island in retaliation. When such confrontations develop there is always the risk of a miscalculation and real clashes.

Boris Johnson has urged the French to use the ‘mechanisms of our new treaty to solve problems’ rather than resort to threats. There are rumours of a call between Mr Johnson and Emmanuel Macron, although No10 said there is nothing arranged yet.

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Government officials have said relations between Britain and France were ‘not where we want them to be’ after the face-off in the Channel.

Mr Johnson and Mr Macron are understood to be speaking in the next few days to try to salvage the alliance.

A senior government source told the Times [3]they were both hoping to ‘dial down the rhetoric’ before the G7 summit in June.

The insider said: ‘We’re a bit like a pair of brothers. We’re the closest allies and there is no fundamental unhappiness but things are bumpy.’

President of Jersey Fishermen’s Association Don Thompson said the incident followed ‘some pretty extreme threats’ from the French.

‘Our expectations were that things probably weren’t going to get out of hand, but on the other hand if you consider a Government-level threat to sever electricity ties that would have meant hospitals being shut down,’ he said.

‘In other parts of the world if something like that happened to Iran or Russia or other countries, other states, that would be considered almost an act of war.’

Mr Thompson added: ‘The real hardship genuinely is on this side and I’m seeing my colleagues going out of business, fishermen that have done nothing else all their life, made a commitment to the industry since they were very young, having to sell their boats and walk away from the industry.’

He called for a ‘show of good faith from France’ in what is a ‘highly political’ situation affected by the repercussions of the Brexit referendum.

‘Jersey people didn’t even vote, didn’t even have the right to vote in Brexit. Everything that’s happened here in the way that we’ve become a third world state is entirely by default and it’s really unfortunate that we seem to be coming under the spotlight and being accused of using the Brexit scenario to our advantage when actually the opposite is true.’

The first physical standoff ensued yesterday when a flotilla of tiny French fishing vessels took to Jersey where two Royal Navy ships met them.

HMS Tamar and HMS Severn returned to the mainland today after the retreat by the French vessels.

But in a sign the row is far from over, the fishermen last night threatened to blockade Calais, saying they would stop British goods from entering the EU unless all of their boats were allowed to fish in Jersey’s waters.

Up to 8,500 trucks travel through the French port each day. Oliver Lepretre, chairman of the Northern France fisheries committee, said: ‘The fishermen are saying that if we don’t get what we want, we will go and block Calais.’

Mr Lepretre said a protest was possible ‘within a few days’ and trawlers from Normandy could carry out copycat action at the port of Cherbourg.

He said Eurocrats at the European Commission ‘needed to move their a***’ and trigger the retaliatory measures laid out in the Brexit agreement struck with Britain last year.

He added: ‘[The British] are blocking our boats by any means possible.’

A Government source hit back, saying: ‘The difficulties the French claim to have should be resolved by dialogue, not endless blockades.

‘We also have a newly ratified trade agreement with appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms if needed. This sort of disruption benefits no one.’

Britain is asking French trawlers to provide electronic tracking data from 2012 to 2016 to prove historical fishing links to British and Channel Islands waters.

But Mr Lepretre said many French vessels were not fitted with GPS technology at the time.

He added: ‘We knew that there would be problems with fishing. We said that a war would come from French fisheries.’

Mr Johnson said he was ‘pleased that the situation in Jersey has been resolved’. The Prime Minister thanked the Royal Navy for its ‘swift response’, adding: ‘The UK will always stand resolutely by the people of Jersey.’

Locals watch as French fishing boats leave Jersey waters following their protest in front of the port of Saint Helier, with a Royal Navy ship in the background

Locals watch as French fishing boats leave Jersey waters following their protest in front of the port of Saint Helier, with a Royal Navy ship in the background

Locals watch as French fishing boats leave Jersey waters following their protest in front of the port of Saint Helier, with a Royal Navy ship in the background 

French fishermen said they were ready to restage the Battle of Trafalgar as they descended on the harbour this morning. But by 1.30pm navigation charts showed the armada had given in and was sailing back towards their home waters

French fishermen said they were ready to restage the Battle of Trafalgar as they descended on the harbour this morning. But by 1.30pm navigation charts showed the armada had given in and was sailing back towards their home waters

French fishermen said they were ready to restage the Battle of Trafalgar as they descended on the harbour this morning. But by 1.30pm navigation charts showed the armada had given in and was sailing back towards their home waters

He had earlier voiced his ‘unequivocal support’ for the actions taken by Jersey’s government.

A Government spokesman added: ‘We are pleased that French fishing boats have now left the vicinity of Jersey.

‘Given the situation is resolved for now, the Royal Navy offshore patrol vessels will prepare to return to port in the UK.

‘We remain on standby to provide any further assistance Jersey requests.’

It is understood Mrs Girardin is refusing to speak to Environment Secretary George Eustice over the issue. And Paris has yet to trigger the official Brexit dispute resolution mechanism.

France’s hardline Europe minister Clement Beaune, a close ally of president Emmanuel Macron, dismissed the deployment of Navy gunships, saying: ‘We won’t be intimidated by these manoeuvres.’

In response to Britain’s move, the French maritime authority for the Channel sent a pair of armed police patrol boats to Jersey ‘to ensure the protection of human life at sea’.

During yesterday’s protest at St Helier, local fishermen said flares were let off and some of the French boats entered the harbour for around an hour.

Footage posted online apparently shows a French boat ramming the stern of a Jersey vessel.

An onlooker at the port in Jersey captured the moment a British vessel (right hand side of image) is forced to spin around to avoid a side-on collision with a French boat seen hurtling towards it. The brown French vessel does end up smacking into the side of the British boat without causing significant damage

An onlooker at the port in Jersey captured the moment a British vessel (right hand side of image) is forced to spin around to avoid a side-on collision with a French boat seen hurtling towards it. The brown French vessel does end up smacking into the side of the British boat without causing significant damage

An onlooker at the port in Jersey captured the moment a British vessel (right hand side of image) is forced to spin around to avoid a side-on collision with a French boat seen hurtling towards it. The brown French vessel does end up smacking into the side of the British boat without causing significant damage

The skipper of one French vessel even claimed they were ready to ‘restage the Battle of Trafalgar’, but another, Ludovic Lazaro, soon announced the blockade was over, adding: ‘Now it’s down to the ministers to find an agreement. We are not going to be able to do much.’

Eurocrats backed France in the row, claiming Britain had created ‘additional conditions’ for issuing licences to French trawlers.

European Commission spokesman Vivian Loonela said the rules were a breach of the Brexit treaty.

The Jersey government has said that of the 41 French boats that applied for licences last Friday, 17 were unable to provide the evidence needed to carry on fishing in the island’s waters.

Dimitri Rogoff, president of the Normandy fishing committee, said: ‘Fishermen shouldn’t be the ones blockading Jersey to get what they want.

‘If we don’t obtain our goals, the minister needs to turn off the lights.’

The French government last night said it was acting in a ‘spirit of responsibility’ in response to a ‘British failure’ to abide by the terms of the Brexit trade deal.

The Liberal Democrats yesterday criticised the Government’s ‘gunboat diplomacy’, adding: ‘When our governments disagree we should resolve our differences with grown-up conversation and negotiation, not with cannons in the Channel.’

Meanwhile Portsmouth MP Ms Mordaunt wrote to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to stop the AQUIND Interconnector.

She told the News[4]: ‘Recent events are further evidence that the interconnector is not in our national interest.

‘It will make us less resilient, it’s a strategic error and it potentially will undermine further negotiations that we may wish to have with the EU and certainly member states.’

She also described the threat to cut off electricity to Jersey by France’s maritime minister Ms Girardin as ‘sinister’.

Read more:

References

  1. ^ Jack Newman (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ James Gant For Mailonline (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Times (www.thetimes.co.uk)
  4. ^ News (www.portsmouth.co.uk)

‘We’re piggy in the middle’: Brexit has made life impossible, say Jersey fishers

Steph Noel, who has been fishing the waters off Jersey[1] for almost four decades, could not see the point of chugging out to sea in his 8.5-metre boat, Belle Bird, this weekend.

“There’s no value in it for me,” he said. “It’ll cost me in bait and diesel but even if I have a good day there’s no market there for what I bring back.”

Noel, 52, last went out on Sunday and had a decent haul of lobster and crab but could not find a buyer for them and they remain – alive – tucked away in a floating container out at sea. “You can’t keep them there for too long, especially as the sea warms up. They’ll start eating each other. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them.”

The French fishers’ blockade of Jersey’s main port[2], St Helier, this week and the UK government’s decision to send two naval vessels to keep an eye on the situation made headlines across the globe. But people like Noel aren’t interested in the banner headlines. He just wants a market for his fish. The root of the problem, he says, is not the actions of a few French fishers but, ultimately, the UK’s departure from the EU.

Brexit has led to fishers across the UK struggling[3] to find a market for their fish. They complain of excessive paperwork, delays at ports, rows over labelling. They did not get a vote on Brexit in Jersey, which is not part of the UK, but they are directly affected.

When the UK left the EU’s single market and customs union on 31 January 2020 it also exited the common fisheries policy[4] that has divvied up the spoils of Europe’s waters since the 1970s.

In addition, the Bay of Granville agreement, which had established a pattern of rights for French boats up to three miles from Jersey’s coast, came to an end.

French fishers now believe they have been given a raw deal from Jersey over a new licensing scheme governing their post-Brexit fishing rights in the area. The French government has threatened to cut off the electricity supply to Jersey[5] and French ports have begun to turn away Jersey fish. Then came this week’s blockade.

Fernando Carvalho from Aqua-Mar, fish merchants, Victoria Pier, St Helier, Jersey.

It is complicated but Noel summed it up succinctly. “Brexit has put a spanner in the works,” he said. “I have a mortgage to pay. If it isn’t sorted, I may lose the house. My wife [a civil servant] is having to support me. We were told frictionless trade for Jersey fish going into France, and it hasn’t happened. I don’t blame the French for protesting. They are just doing what we’re doing, trying to make a living out of the sea. We’re the piggy in the middle, caught up in the fallout.”

The tanks at the shellfish exporters Aqua-Mar on Victoria Pier tell a sad tale. They are heaving with lobster and brown and spider crab – about £40,000-worth.

One of the workers, Fernando Carvalho, said they usually kept the shellfish in the tanks for two or three days before exporting them. The creatures have been in there for up to 10 days now. The weaker ones die or are eaten.

“We’re struggling a lot,” said Carvalho. He said Brexit had led to “crazy” amounts of paperwork. “It used to take 15 or 20 minutes, it takes hours now.” They were starting to cope with that – but now have been hit by the loss of their route to the markets of continental Europe[6].

Jack Bailey, St Helier, Jersey.

Previously, they had sent their lobsters and crabs to the French port of St Malo in Brittany, three hours away. French, Spanish and Portuguese buyers would meet them there and take what they needed. The rest would be driven by lorry to Italy.

Now they are not being allowed to land their catch in France and are desperately seeking another route, looking at the possibility of getting the lobster and crabs to continental Europe via England. “It used to take a few hours to get it there, it will take days now,” said Carvalho. “We don’t know how to do what we used to do. All this is because of Brexit and we didn’t even get a say in it.”

Jack Bailey, 24, the skipper of the 10-metre lobster and crab boat White Waters, said there was not a lot of money to be made from fishing at the moment.

“My grandad was a fisherman, my dad was a fisherman. It’s in the family. I’ve started to think to myself, would I have been better off staying at school and getting a trade behind me. It’s a sticky one.”

He reckons the profit from his catches has been down 30% this year on the average for the last few. That’s a big chunk of your money,” he said. “I’m just about covering my costs.

“I haven’t landed this year in France. Last year, it was once every seven or 10 days. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen. I wasn’t for Brexit but now I’d like France to exit the EU – then Jersey and France would be able to work it out themselves. I just hope there is a fishing industry left after this.”

While the French boats were blockading St Helier harbour, the Jersey fisher Jason Bonhomme tried to land a catch of cuttlefish over at Carteret in Normandy.

He was prevented from landing and forced to turn back. He gave away the whole catch – 400kg – on St Catherine’s breakwater after posting a message on social media inviting people to bring bags and buckets and take it away for free. “Shame to see it spoil,” he said.

Stephen Vinney, 54, who owns a boat called Progress, expressed frustration that it is the French rather than Jersey fishers who have been making the headlines.

Stephen Vinney, St Helier, Jersey.

“We’re suffering far more than they are,” he said. “They have EU subsidy given to take the sting out of Brexit. Jersey has had nothing in support.”

As well as fishing for crabs and lobster, one of Vinney’s key catches is scallop. “Our scallop season should be in full flight,” he said. “It’s not.”

“Because of the UK leaving the EU, our scallops and whelks, which are a big part of our fishery, can’t be landed into France directly. They need testing and health certificates. At the same time, French fleets are putting more effort into our waters than they have for years, catching the same scallops out of our waters and landing them into France. They can dig my spuds in my garden but I can’t.”

He argued that the island was effectively a post-Brexit test case. “Jersey is being used as a guinea pig in imposing the licensing regime on the French. Eyes are on Jersey and Boris [Johnson] is putting pressure on Jersey to stand firm.”

Vinney is worried about the future. “It’s not a job; it’s a way of life. A lot of Jersey boats have sold up. We are losing fishermen we won’t get back into the fleet. We are getting squeezed out.”

Toby Greatbatch, Greatcatch Seafood.

Toby Greatbatch, 31, has stopped working as a fisher after 13 years. He has a nine-month-old baby and could no longer be sure the work was there to support the child.

He was preparing scallops he had hand-dived for off the east coast of Jersey and tipping live brown crab he had bought from another fisher into a boiler. He sells the scallops and crab meat at a market stall.

“Brexit and Covid has made it too difficult to be a fisherman,” he said. “When you can’t export it, there’s no point in catching it. I think I’ve found my niche doing this and can’t see myself going back to it.”

References

  1. ^ Jersey (www.theguardian.com)
  2. ^ blockade of Jersey’s main port (www.theguardian.com)
  3. ^ Brexit has led to fishers across the UK struggling (www.theguardian.com)
  4. ^ it also exited the common fisheries policy (www.theguardian.com)
  5. ^ The French government has threatened to cut off the electricity supply to Jersey (www.theguardian.com)
  6. ^ Europe (www.theguardian.com)

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The Daily BeastFox News Anchor Wonders ‘Who’s Right’ on the ‘Big Lie’—Cheney or Trump?[1]Fox NewsWhat is the “Big Lie”? Is it a former president and his allies claiming widespread voter fraud and a “stolen” election? Or is it a Republican congresswoman…

Lorry driver’s death could be linked to Liverpool ferry journey

A lorry driver who had to travel from Liverpool via ferry for work died after contracting legionnaire’s disease.

Kevin Budd, 53, was admitted to the Royal Stoke University Hospital on August 27, 2018, after holidaying in Skegness.

He complained about experiencing shortness of breath and died days later on September 2, 2018.

An inquest heard his cause of death was given as diffused alveolar damage, legionnaire’s disease, and leukaemia.

Stoke-on-Trent Live[1] report the dates and incubation period of the disease indicate he may have caught the disease during a work trip that took him through Liverpool.

His job also involved travelling to North Wales and Ireland.

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Speaking in conclusion of the inquest in Stoke-on-Trent, the jury forewoman said: “Whilst on holiday Mr Budd became ill with a cold.

“Returning home his condition worsened. His condition got worse and he was admitted to hospital on August 27, 2018.

“He was placed into critical care. He was ventilated and placed into a coma and never regained consciousness.”

She added that the jury concluded that the legionella came “from an unspecified area”.

Doctor Nicol Coetzee, a consultant specialising in communicable diseases, was notified that Mr Budd had received a diagnosis of legionella on August 28, 2018, and began an investigation to find the source.

This consisted of tracing Mr Budd’s movements over the days where he was most likely to have picked up the disease, and cross checking it with data from places he visited to see if any cases were active in those places at the time of his visits.

These included trips to Ireland via ferry, setting out from Holyhead to Dublin, and returning via Liverpool.

No traces of legionella were found in any of the places that Mr Budd had visited over the last six months, or within a six mile radius of his home address in Stafford.

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But on September 7, 2018, five days after Mr Budd passed away, the ship Stena Adventurer, which is in the fleet that runs the route from Holyhead to Dublin, undertook a routine water sampling which found extremely high levels of legionella.

In one sample, they were over nine times the level designated as unacceptable.

The ship was given a “super-chlorination” in accordance with normal procedure, in which chlorinated water is flushed through the whole system to clear out any unwelcome microbes lurking in the water supply.

Lesley Cave, who works for the county council regulating water supplies, confirmed that she was requested to undertake the inspection as part of normal routine and that after the procedure it had once more reached a safe and acceptable level.

Ms. Cave was unable to say if Mr Budd travelled on the Stena Adventurer, and the cleaning process meant that it was impossible to confirm if the strain found on the ship was the same that Mr Budd contracted.

However, no other potential contacts were traced during Dr. Coetzee’s investigation, leaving open the possibility that Mr Budd may have contracted the disease during his ferry ride from Holyhead to Dublin.

Speaking in a statement to the inquest, pathologist Dr. Karthik Kalyanasundaram outlined legionella. He said: “Legionnaire’s disease is a severe pneumonia.

“Although this disease is an uncommon form of pneumonia data have shown that it is 2 to five times more common in men than in women.

“40-50% of cases are related to travel.”

Mr Budd was born in Wokingham on August 20 1965 and worked in the armed forces for 25 years as an electrician before entering civilian life as an HGV driver, a job which involved a great deal of travel.

References

  1. ^ Stoke-on-Trent Live (www.stokesentinel.co.uk)
  2. ^ just click on this link to our newsletter sign-up centre (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)

Nothing says ‘easiest trade deal in history’ quite like gunboats deployed to Jersey | Mark Steel

How dare the French assault poor little Jersey[1], whose only industries are fish, potatoes and international tax fiddling?

So send the gunboats, however many we need, because people are ANGRY about whelks. We can only hope they stay just as committed when this is resolved, and spend every day calling phone-ins to yell: “I WANT TO TALK ABOUT SCALLOPS! THEY NEED TO BE ROUNDER, AND MORE SQUISHY.”

When you see those adverts in which a young man from Blyth is “Made by the Marines[2]”, this is the sort of thing they’re talking about. Once they’re signed up, their life can begin as they do something exceptional, vital and historic, and sit outside Jersey in case a trawler from Normandy[3] catches a herring.

This is all because of[4] an argument about who can catch which fish, following Brexit. That makes sense, as we were promised Brexit was going to be the easiest trade deal in the world. And that’s worked out perfectly. Because sending gunboats to Jersey is always a sign of a deal having gone through easily. When the plumber fixes your radiators, you don’t want one of those complicated deals where he does the job and you pay him. It’s much easier if you have to send a gunboat to his house because the French have threatened to dynamite his garden shed.

The French government has threatened to turn off Jersey’s electricity, as if all Jersey’s power comes from an extension cable that reaches to Cherbourg. So the Telegraph reported that[5] “a government source said, ‘even the German occupation left the lights on’.” 

Congratulations. It was only ever going to be 30 seconds into this conflict until the war was mentioned, and this government source nipped in first. Because that’s the rule in Britain – any problem with anything European has to refer to the war. If the World Vegetable Society announced French beetroots are the juiciest in the world, 120 backbench MPs would be on daytime television saying: “This is an insult to all those who fought on D-Day. We stood alone in 1940 and that’s why we’re firing one French beetroot an hour out of a canon off the cliffs of Dover.”

By the weekend, dozens of people aged 70 will have been interviewed on the news, saying: “My generation was bravely born five years after the war ended, and despite this courage, we still have to sit by while French people are allowed to fish. Is it any wonder we don’t like Pakistanis?”

Another “government source” said: “I’m disappointed the EU has resorted to threats, rather than use the treaty to discuss the matter.” Yes, that is disappointing. Why would anyone, in a discussion between Britain and the EU, want to issue threats rather than discuss things nicely?

The French should learn to discuss matters with us calmly, the way we always did, and publish headlines in newspapers such as: “MY GRANDDAD FOUGHT AT AGINCOURT AGAINST THESE ARSEHOLES SO LET’S MAKE THEM SIT IN THE DARK.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg even declared that fish were happier for being British, which I’m sure they are, but hopefully it’s even better than that and soon he’ll announce they all went to Eton, not some scuzzy public school like Westminster. And he’ll report that a regiment of mackerel issued a statement that, “By God, we shall do our duty to the Queen and drift without fear or lassitude into British nets, carpe diem.”

The argument appears to be that French fishing boats haven’t been given the licenses they were promised to fish around Jersey. And those that have been given a license have also been given huge documents packed with restrictions. But since Brexit, each lorry-load of British fish must also go through seven stages of extra bureaucracy, before heading to Europe. And each lorry must be accompanied with seven extra pages of forms.

So all those years, when the anti-EU campaigners were moaning about the red tape our businesses had to deal with, what they must have meant is there wasn’t enough of it. They must have been thinking: “Why are fishermen allowed to catch fish without filling in thousands of extra forms? We demand a separate form for every single cockle.”

Since Brexit, lorries of British fish have had to go rotten while waiting for the extra forms to be completed, because the British government protects our British forms, that have kept this country going for thousands of years.

What we could have done, to protect our fishing industry, is use the amount wasted on a useless Track and Trace system and spread it among the fishermen. It was around £30bn that got lost, so for that money they could have nets made of silk, hand-woven by mountain people of the Andes, and placed in ice in which each cube has been personally blessed by the Dalai Lama. They could have each mackerel moulded into the shape of a historical figure, such as Abraham Lincoln or Jennifer Lopez, by a specialist fish sculptor.

But that’s not as much fun as sending gunboats, especially as Emanuel Macron and the French government are capable of being knobs as well, so this could escalate gloriously. One war between Britain and France lasted 100 years and no one can remember how that started, so this one could last longer than that if we play it right.

This is where we are in the world now. When superpowers went to the brink of annihilation in 1962, it was around the matter of whether a Soviet ally should place nuclear weapons in Cuba, a few miles from Florida. When Britain and France go to war, it’s because of a row about who gets the scallops.

References

  1. ^ Jersey (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ Marines (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ Normandy (www.independent.co.uk)
  4. ^ all because of (www.independent.co.uk)
  5. ^ reported that (www.telegraph.co.uk)