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Britain is set to regain control over who can access its fishing waters after Brexit as multiple EU countries are set to lose their equal access to the seas. Barrie Deas, the CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, explained EU vessels have automatic access to the resource-rich UK waters meaning they have more to lose in Brexit negotiations. It comes as the bloc wants to see the status quo maintained for fishing access and quotas, but the UK Government wants Britain to have controls of its own waters.
Of those EU fishing nations set to lose out the most after Brexit, Mr Deas told Express.co.uk: “France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, and that is because when the UK joined the EEC as it was, the existing member states made it a precondition that the principle of equal access for fishing vessels was part of the deal.
“That meant that unlike the situation with Norway or normal coastal states, which control access over who fishes in their waters and access is negotiated, EU vessels have automatic access to the resource-rich UK waters.”
Mr Deas also detailed France takes 84 percent of the quota for cod in the English Channel.
Meanwhile the UK is allowed only nine percent.
He explained that the extortionate quotas need to be ironed out in a Brexit trade deal between the UK and EU.
It comes as the bloc wants to see the status quo maintained for fishing access and quotas, but the UK Government wants Britain to have control of its own waters.
He said: “EU vessels have automatic access to the resource-rich UK waters.
“That’s what underpins everything, the deal from the 1970s.
“When quotas were introduced in 1983, a decade later, they reflected that original deal.
“You have situations like, in Channel cod, the UK share of that quota is nine percent.
“The French is 84 percent.
“Celtic Sea haddock where the UK share is 10 percent and the French share is 66 percent.
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“It’s those kinds of extortions that the fishing industry wants to be ironed out.”
Disagreements over how to guarantee fair competition, fisheries, rules for settling disputes or the role of the EU’s top court have so far prevented progress as the bloc seeks to tie Britain closely to its rules while Boris Johnson wants to cut the country loose.
The Prime Minister wants a loose trade deal with the EU, the bloc is seeking much closer ties for the future covering climate, fishing, transport and security.
A French official said the leaders agreed that they must stick to their stance on fisheries and the so-called level playing field provisions aimed at ensuring fair competition.
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