For many years the French have had the largest quotas of fish from British waters. Still, since we’ve gone into these negotiations, France has demanded EU negotiator Michel Barnier to push the UK into giving a status quo agreement, meaning the french would have unrestricted access into British waters, keeping the same quotas as now. Not only have the french been fishing in our waters, but they also attack British boats if they fish in French waters. Now the shoe is on the other foot Macron said: “If we do not get the same access as today, we will seek compensation.”
“I will not let our fishermen be impacted by a British vote they could do nothing about.” But former Grimsby MP and Brexit campaigner Austin Mitchell explained: “The first effort from France was to threaten import bans on British fish unless EU vessels got access to British waters.
“That looks potent since three-quarters of our catches do go to the EU but in fact, tariffs can hardly go higher than the minimum levels imposed on Iceland and Norway and will, in any case, be paid by the consumer.
“Endless red tape on perishable goods would be more difficult, but if the French state can’t control its trade, other states will take it.
“So, the next tactic is to insist that unless fishing access is agreed there can be no further negotiations and no access for our valuable financial services.
“Such bullying will hardly appeal to other EU members and is in any case chronologically difficult since Britain leaves the EU at the end of this transitional year and then becomes an independent coastal state controlling its own waters under the UN law of the sea.
“The CFP then has no jurisdiction.”
Mr Mitchell noted: “That will reduce the EU’s claim to a simple demand for access.
“It will be pitched unacceptably high but is negotiable.
“Until the British fishing industry is rebuilt and reorganised, there is the fishing capacity to spare, as long as access is on a reducing scale and decided on an annual basis.”
He added: “Supervised access to EU vessels is then agreed in return for swaps in British waters. “British fishing could be run on the same basis with either swap arrangements or licence fees, a more substantial fishery protection effort to stop illegalities and cheating and a gradual phasing out of foreign fishing as the British industry builds up. “That would create the certainty which investment requires, something the CFP has disastrously failed to do.”
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