Brexit Britain should follow former deep sea rival as fishing model when EU ties CUT

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Ms Nici’s comments came after she and fellow Tory MP Martin Vickers met Icelandic Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Thór Thórðarson. The Brexiteer, who has told the House of Commons Grimsby stands ready to reap the benefits of enlarged fishing grounds, said the North Atlantic neighbour – once a bitter deep sea rival but now a key trading partner – could have a model to follow.

As we return to being an independent coastal state it is important to continue to work closely with Iceland

Lia Nici

She said: “As we return to being an independent coastal state after leaving the EU and taking control of our fishing waters, it is important to continue to work closely with our Icelandic friends.

“We can learn from them as an independent coastal fishing state and will continue the positive and important trade relationship we have with them in the future.

“We had a very positive meeting and we look forward to working closely with them in the future.”

Iceland provides three quarters of the fish sold on Grimsby Fish Market, with more arriving in the UK seafood capital having been sold directly.

Mr Vickers, MP for nearby Cleethorpes, said: “In recent years the links between Grimsby and Iceland have grown and are vital to our local economy.

“The Icelandic Ambassador, Stefan Jóhannesson, who was in Grimsby earlier this year, has worked hard to develop our relationship and I’m sure that we can continue to build on existing links.”

Iceland has signed a trade continuity agreement with the UK in the event of a no deal Brexit but the long term future is complicated by its membership of the EEA, from which the UK is also withdrawing on December 31.

Mr Vickers said: “In terms of fish supply, there will be no problem at all.

“The only concern they have, just as we do, is with border control points.

“It is being resolved, the Government has taken it on, and it will be settled.”

Access to British waters has proved a major sticking point in trade talks with the European Union and Boris Johnson has been warned not to lose sight of the importance of fishing rights to the UK.

Prominent Brexiteer Niall McCrae said fishing it was a symbolic issue of sovereignty and said the Prime Minister would suffer the consequences if he relinquished key fishing access to the EU in hopes of securing a trade deal.

Dr McCrae said: “The UK can have a major kickstart because of Brexit.

“The fishing industry can actually be many times bigger than it has become.

“Politically I think this is very important, fishing is a totemic issue.

“If you ask people what does Brexit mean, if you ask your average Leave voter what does Brexit mean to you they will say being a sovereign country.

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“If Boris Johnson were to make the mistake of throwing in fishing access to the EU as a compromise, I think he would suffer the consequences.

“This is so important to people, Boris has to make sure that Britain regains its territorial identity and status.

“By doing so we can revitalise towns all over the long coast of Britons.

“From the northwest of Scotland to Cornwall, Northern Ireland and wherever else, we had a fishing industry and we want it back.”

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