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Environment Secretary George Eustice spoke about the emotive subject of fisheries that’s had the EU and the U.K. clash in trade talks. Mr Eustice said, the Royal Navy now has three additional vessels and the Home Office will offer a further four, while the Government may also call in help from the private sector. He insisted that the UK has “sufficient” measures to safeguard British fishing waters, telling the committee an additional 50 fishery protection officers are recruited and there’ll be “airborne surveillance”.
With the war of words heating up between the two sides, EU trade negotiator Michel Barnier insisted that the U.K. Negotiators confirmed that they will be an independent coastal country by the end of the year.
Mr Eustice confirms there is no chance of the UK using the fishing industry as a “bargaining chip” in post-Brexit trade talks.
The governments are Adamant that fisheries will be separate from the trade deal. Mr Eustice said, “There really isn’t a precedent of linking a trade deal in the round with sacrificing or forfeiting your right as an independent coastal state.”
Meanwhile, Whitehall said to ministers that there’s a ”very real chance” of major ports in France being blocked by the fishermen. All this while the French state it could a ”very nasty battle” if fishing is excluded from any trade deal.
While the French President Macron vows to fight for French fishermen, here’s what the U.K. has said in there future relationship document about fishing:
The UK is ready to consider an agreement on fisheries that reflects the fact that the UK will be an independent coastal state at the end of 2020. It should provide a framework for our future relationship on matters relating to fisheries with the EU. This would be in line with precedent for EU fisheries agreements with other independent coastal states. Trade-in fisheries products should be covered by the CFTA. Overall, the framework agreement on fisheries should provide a clear basis for an on-going relationship with the EU, akin to the EU’s relationship with other coastal states, one that respects the UK’s status as an independent coastal state and the associated rights and obligations that come with this.
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