Published On: Wed, Sep 18th, 2019

Brexit news: EU fleets fish six times more in UK waters as the UK does in EU waters | UK | News

In June 2016, a poll suggested that 92 percent of the fishing industry voted to leave the EU. The mantra of “taking back control of our waters” became a rallying cry throughout the referendum campaign. Three years later, and the country rocks between Theresa May’s unpopular withdrawal agreement and Boris Johnson’s threat of no deal.

Barrie Deas, the CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, spoke to about what impact this is all having on the British fishing industry.

Mr Deas spoke about the original effect of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.

The policy sets quotas for which member states are allowed to catch each type of fish.

Mr Deas said: “I think you need to go back to the early 1970s when the UK joined the EU.”

READ MORE: UK Fishermen ‘encouraged’ by Boris – but have grave warning

He added: “Because just as the UK was about to join, the existing member states made it a precondition for joining the EEC (as the EU was known back then) that the principle of equal access should apply.

“That means that all the European fleets can fish in anybody’s waters.

“But the significance of that is the UK waters are pretty much where most of the fish are.

“So we have a situation now where the EU fleets fish about six times as much in UK waters as the UK fleet fishes in EU waters.”

He revealed that the “UK share is 9 percent and the French share is 84 percent.”

Other examples include Celtic Sea Haddock.

He said the “French share is 66 percent and the UK share is 10 percent.

“So when the referendum came along, and the result was to leave the EU, that also meant that the UK would be leaving the Common Fisheries Policy.

“This means we would be able, under international law, to operate as an independent coastal state, like Norway or Iceland.”

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