EU scramble to gain upper hand on fisheries…

Boris has the upper hand in the coming trade negotiations


With the UK soon taking back control of its fishing waters due to leaving the EU, some fishermen are concerned that tensions could rebuild with neighbouring countries. This concern comes from past clashes between fishermen over fishing grounds.

With the EU common fisheries policy with the UK is coming to an end, the EU countries are worried. They know they will lose their once automatic access into the UK fishing waters. This right under the common fisheries policy has been in place since 1983; this policy gave countries access to one another’s fishing grounds.

Once we leave the structures of the EU, we will then regain the full 200 nautical miles of fruitful Exclusive fishing waters around Britain.

Under current rules, the EU fishermen have access to Norway fishing waters. This includes UK fishermen. Post-Brexit, it is believed the UK, are attempting to trade access to UK fishing waters, for access to Norwegian fishing grounds. But the EU is causing a major stumbling block. For any deal on fisheries to be done, the EU is demanding the UK adhere to a level playing field policy. If the UK signed up to this policy, it would mean the UK can not be in sole control over its sovereign waters; instead, the UK would be in a far from an equal partnership as the base of this level playing field would mean the quotas and access to the UK fishing waters would be kept the same.

Over the last few months, the rhetoric coming from President Macron has been increasing as the EU fishing lobbies start to mount pressure on the heads of state. Macron has also been applying pressure on chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier; the French president has been demanding Barnier to tighten the screw on the UK as the UK use the EU’s need for fishing ground access to their advantage.

To date, Boris Johnson had remained steadfast on his promise to take back control of our fishing waters, saying he will not be doing what Ted Heath did when he sold out our fishing towns. Giving away fishing grounds is not the aim to gain access to EU markets. So far, Boris has held his ground even though he is coming under severe pressure to extend the negotiations talks by the opposition. The Westminster opposition is using the coronavirus crisis as the way to halt negotiations with an unwanted extension.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has strongly come out stating that it wouldn’t be in anyone’s interest if there were an extension.


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