The UK, along with the EU, is now in a stalemate over their future trading relationship, as significant disagreements stall Brexit talks. The bloc’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has cautioned that if the UK would like to maintain access to European markets, it must grant the EU member states continuing access to British fishing grounds.
Government statistics highlight the millions the EU and other countries around the globe could lose if the UK is to lower the total amount of foreign boats coming to British shores. From the breakdown of landings made in British waters by foreign vessels, it demonstrates that fishermen from abroad are beginning to make significantly less, at a time when the UK was in the EU.
By way of instance, the value of demersal catches fell in 2018 to £46.5million from £54 million the previous year and £65million annually before that. However, shellfish saw a decreased value for overseas vessels — £3.6million in 2017 dropping to £2.7million in 2018. For many species, overseas vessels made landings worth £65 million down from £70million in 2017.
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Together with the EU being such a prominent presence on UK beaches as a result of Common Fisheries Policy, it appears the bloc could lose more than the Brexit transition period ends in December. Much to the annoyance of British fishers, EU vessels have previously reaped more benefits from British waters compared to the UK.
According to NAFC Marine Centre’s statistics, UK boats land 32 percent of fish from its waters, whereas EU states combined take 43 percent. This implies there are many nations in the bloc where fishers depend on British waters to permit their companies to succeed, and for that reason could not countenance a no-deal situation despite Mr Barnier’s defiance.
The Government has claimed that, despite the continuing stalemate in Brexit trade discussions, a deal is still possible. But, Mr Barnier warned that the lack of progress was a concern and struck at Boris Johnson’s negotiating group. “In all regions, the UK continues to backtrack under obligations undertaken in the political statement, including on fisheries. We cannot and will not accept this backtracking on the political statement.”