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How to deal with the EU over fishing

23 January 2020

Brixham, Devon, October 2018. Photo Johann Knox/shutterstock.com

Writing for Brexit Central, Fishing for Leave’s Alan Hastings has just provided the government with the perfect strategy for dealing with the EU’s “self-entitled and belligerent demand to continue its fleet’s unhindered exploitation of British waters”.

Despite the clear intention in the Political Declaration to put shared fishing rights into the pot during trade negotiations between the UK and EU, Fishing For Leave has declared: “Fishing may be hanging on a thread, but it’s not over yet if the Government stands firm on a British interpretation of the Political Declaration wording.” 

In a pithy 5-point summary of its key points, Hastings points out that the EU has no legal right to fish in British waters after 2020, nor to claim inflated quotas.  The EU’s own Article 50 abrogates the CFP and all access right and quota shares. “Any swap of access or quota must only happen when the UK receives a reciprocal value of opportunities in return, and is on a strictly annual basis”. 

Only by exercising “exclusive sovereignty over all our waters and resources” can we “husband our waters using the best management and science available” and begin to “rectify the damage to our marine environment caused by the ineptitude of the CFP”.

“The acid test has arrived,” says Hastings. “The Johnson Government will be judged on it.”