The last time Great Britain and France squared off in combat was during the Napoleonic Wars. But a recent fishing dispute prompted government officials in London and Paris to deploy warships to a small island off the coast of France.
The quarrel is over post-Brexit regulations on fishing ordered by the self-governing British island of Jersey, about 14 miles from the coast. French fishermen set up an impromptu blockade after being told they now have to provide paperwork showing they have an establilshed history of fishing in the waters claimed by Jersey.
The Royal Navy dispatched two gunboats to the scene to monitor the situation, prompting the French Navy to follow suit. The fisherman eventually called off the blockade and the warships also withdrew from the scene.
While both countries are founding members of NATO, the standoff did not result in either Great Britain or France invoked the Article 5 rule, calling on allies to assist them if attacked.
• Mike Glenn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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