icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘We might get thrown out of NATO’: Twitter baffled & divided over UK govt idea to send warships against EU fishermen

‘We might get thrown out of NATO’: Twitter baffled & divided over UK govt idea to send warships against EU fishermen
Debates broke out on Twitter over the news that the Royal Navy was ready to deploy British patrol vessels to confront European fishing boats after a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

London has until December 31 to hammer out a free-trade deal with the EU, and fisheries remain one of the most contentious issues. While the EU wants to secure the decades-old quota system which allows European boats to operate in British waters, the UK wishes to make its waters more exclusive to British fishermen.

On Friday, British media reported that the Royal Navy was ready to deploy four warships to stop European fishing boats from illegally entering the UK waters in the English Channel after a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. The Ministry of Defence later confirmed the news, adding that it had put 14,000 military personnel on standby to support the government during “the EU transition” period over the winter.

Many online were baffled by the prospect of British vessels pointing their guns at ships belonging to their allies. Some even suggested this could end up with London getting “thrown out of NATO.”

“An attack on one NATO member is an attack on all. How is this going to work out?” a person wrote while ‘Rule Britannia’ memes were posted on Twitter, and #GunBoatDiplomacy and #CodWars were trending.

The latter hashtag was a throwback to a series of standoffs between the UK and Iceland over fishing rights between the late 1950s and the 1970s. The conflicts ended on terms more favorable to the Nordic nation. This prompted people to worry Britain would eventually “lose” this time, too.

“Can't wait for French fisherman to blockade Calais,” a person quipped on Twitter.

Some, however, argued that UK will have no choice but to protect its waters if it fails to come to terms with Brussels. People voiced this sentiment while replying to a tweet by Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, who said the “overstretched” Royal Navy should rather focus on deterring Russia and China.

“An ally would give us a FAIR deal. A 'deal' that requires us to be subject to their rules and laws in perpetuity is NOT an ally, as they overrule our sovereignty for their advantage,” a person wrote to Ellwood.

Others opined that “a NATO ally should not allow its fisherman to plunder our waters,” and that “deploying four craft to protect British jobs is absolutely fine in my book.”

Also on rt.com No-deal Brexit is 'very, very likely,' UK's Johnson says as he still waits for 'big offer, a big change' from EU

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.