A member of the Jersey Militia reenactment group fired a musket Thursday at French fishing boats.
The boats were blockading the main port of the overseas British island territory in a dispute over post-Brexit fishing red tape.
A video published by ITV News shows the man loading his antique firearm before firing it towards the harbor, as smoke from the gun’s barrel billows around him.
Between 60-70 French fishing boats blocked access to the island’s main port, St. Saint Helier, Thursday morning as part of a demonstration against the U.K.’s post-Brexit fishing rules, local Jersey Evening Post reported. (RELATED: Army Of Parasitic Wasps Unleashed Inside British Mansion To Eradicate Moths)
The protest arose after French fishermen were frustrated by Jersey’s new licensing regime for fishing in the island’s waters.
Several fishermen got their applications for the license rejected, in the weeks leading to the protest, according to ITV News.
The frustration among the fishermen is part of the broader vexation French fishers have demonstrated towards Britain’s new post-Brexit fishing license rules, The Financial Times reported.
Among other criteria, Britain requires French ships to be equipped with monitoring devices to obtain licenses – demands that the French government was unhappy with, resulting in French authorities threatening to cut off Jersey’s electricity supply, according to the outlet.
The European Union had also expressed that Britain issuing conditions without preceding notice breached the EU-UK trade agreed upon in 2020, The Times reported.
Following news of the planned blockade, Britain’s Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday night that it would send two Royal Navy gunboats, HMS Severn and HMS Tamar, to Jersey to conduct “maritime security patrols” as part of a “precautionary measure.”
HMS Severn and HMS Tamar are deploying to Jersey to conduct maritime security patrols. This is a strictly precautionary measure and has been agreed with the Jersey Government.
— Ministry of Defence ???????? (@DefenceHQ) May 5, 2021
The French Navy also sent a naval boat “Athos” to a spot near Jersey’s maritime boundary Thursday, Daily Mail reported.
It was in this tense situation, that the lone re-enactor fired his weapon, the outlet reported.
British and French officials are reportedly in talks over ending the dispute.
The French protest at the harbor ended Thursday evening with the fishermen returning home, BBC reported.