EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Britain desires to determine how a lot entry to its fishing grounds it offers after it leaves the European Union, in keeping with a coverage doc on Wednesday.
“As an independent coastal state for the first time in over 40 years, access to UK waters will be on our terms, under our control and for the benefit of UK fishermen,” meals and surroundings minister Michael Gove stated.
“This is consistent with the approach to fisheries taken by other coastal states including Norway,” he added.
The government desires to separate the problem of entry to its waters from that of how a lot British fish is exported to the EU in its Brexit discussions with Brussels.
The concept of dividing the 2 issues, in order that fish turns into a part of an total foods and drinks negotiation, is the inspiration upon which the minority Conservative government has the assist of the British fishing neighborhood.
That consists of key parliamentary seats based mostly within the North East of Scotland, the place many citizens backed Brexit as a result of they are saying the present EU fishing quota system has steadily decimated their business over many years.
The “white paper” coverage doc, which argues that the present EU fishing system is unfair and outdated, now has a 10 week session interval.
Britain’s proposals might run into opposition in Brussels, nevertheless, as a result of the EU has argued that if UK fish merchandise are to be bought in the remainder of Europe, EU vessels have to be allowed to fish in British waters.
While Britain is a part of the EU buying and selling bloc, Europe imports about 75 p.c of Britain’s fishing catch. Britain desires to permit overseas ships to fish in its waters after Brexit however desires to determine itself the extent of that entry.
The EU’s present coverage permits all European boats entry to EU waters and fishing grounds, which it says permits fishermen to compete pretty. Up to now the EU has rejected the concept Britain can unilaterally dictate the phrases on which different international locations can fish in its waters.
Prime Minister Theresa May has stated Britain will depart the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) however underneath a so-called transition settlement, quotas will stay in place through the two years after the UK leaves the bloc subsequent March.
The Scottish Fisheries Federation says 60 p.c of what could be Scottish fish is caught by different EU fishing nations, and has lengthy argued that many years of EU membership has weakened the business severely.
Fishermen have additionally expressed fears that entry to fishing grounds might be used a bargaining chip for different buying and selling benefits for Britain because it leaves the EU.
Reporting by Elisabeth O’Leary; enhancing by Stephen Addison