Lithuania's European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius call’s for the UK to follow the EU's Common Fisheries Policy…

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Lithuania’s European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius is calling for the UK to follow the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy. This is despite leaving the bloc last month.

However, Mr Sinkevičius told French MPs yesterday:”Access to British waters is crucial.”

The UK and EU have until the end of the year to obtain an agreement on trade.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that if no agreement is made, he won’t extend the transition period .

Peers have also been advised unless licensed to do so that fishing boats will be barred from fishing in UK waters.

But details on access have to be thrashed out through discussions with the EU.

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Environment minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble said:”The Government’s vision is to create a sustainable fishing industry, with healthy seas and a fair deal for UK fishing interests.”

Opening a second reading debate Lord Gardiner said the legislation was a key step in bringing that vision.

He said:”Any decision about giving vessels from the EU and other coastal states access to our waters will be a matter for discussion.

“This Bill provides the framework to enable us to implement whatever is agreed internationally.

“From 2021 the UK will be a different coastal country, able to control who can fish in our oceans.

“We will be responsible for setting annual total allowable catches of fish species in our waters.”

But he said there were still aspects which did not meet with the aspirations of Labour and called for further amendments in the subsequent phases of the Bill.

Former diplomat and independent crossbencher Lord Hannay of Chiswick said the”detailed shape of Britain’s new post-Brexit fisheries policy remains as shrouded in mystery as ever”.

Lord Hannay called for ministers to be realistic in negotiations with the EU, as opposed to relying on”slogans and mantras”, and warned against linking fishing to other businesses in the talks.

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Alan Hastings of Fishing for Leave warned UK fishermen need to be clear about the principles “If the Government wants to genuinely take back control of a £6-8 billion business, to level up areas and do so through rejuvenating coastal communities after decades of EU policies designed to ease the asset stripping of Britain.

“The Government should revise the Fisheries Bill to legislate that in future foreign-flagged ships should only be allowed access post-Brexit on a strictly annual basis and only if the UK receives a mutual worth of fishing opportunities for in EU waters.

“Any and all of the limited number of EU vessels licensed to get British waters for the year should have it as a requirement of that licence that all their catch is landed, sold and processed in Britain.

“This is British ports and communities find benefit from this grab of our national source and, most importantly, to guarantee compliance with our conservation measures.

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“To prevent the whole EU fleet trying to re-register in Britain the government must reinstate Mrs Thatchers Economic link to make sure that British vessels are bulk British possessed, crewed and territory, sell and process nearly all their catches on Britain to see genuine economic benefit delivered.

“Otherwise the continual shameful haemorrhaging of the wealth of our greatest natural resource being taken back to the continent in ships or lorries will proceed into the sore price of our coastal communities.”

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