Independent: "Tory Government Tells EU That Royal Navy Will Be Sent In To Protect UK Waters From European Fishing Vessels"

Telegraph


UK Tells EU it will take 'any measures necessary' to protect fishing waters

UK publishes draft fisheries agreement which had formed basis of tough trade talks with Brussels last week


By James Crisp, Brussels Correspondent 19 May 2020


"British Brexit negotiators have told the European Union that the UK will take any measures necessary within the limits of international law to protect its fishing waters.

On Tuesday, the UK published a draft fisheries agreement which had formed the basis of tough trade talks with Brussels last week.

"Each party may take such measures in conformity with international law as may be necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Agreement by vessels of the other party," the draft agreement reads.

Michael Gove, speaking in the House of Commons, said on Tuesday: "Access to our waters will be on our terms, and the beneficiaries of that will be our fishermen in Cornwall and elsewhere."

In the draft agreement, Britain demands that EU boats apply for a licence to fish in UK waters and that the bloc provides the UK with a list of all vessels eligible to enter British fisheries.

These last two requirements represent a step-change from the status quo, in which EU boats have an automatic right to fish in UK waters.

In February, Britain bolstered the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron by two ships on top of its four River-class offshore patrol vessels and a helicopter.

The British document, based on Norway's fishing agreement with the EU, calls for annual negotiations on fishing opportunities, based on zonal attachment and access to each other's waters. The draft agreement can be suspended on three months notice or cancelled entirely with two years written notice if either side fails to comply with it.

Zonal attachment is a different way of dividing the shares of the allowed catch and is based on where fish are now, rather than the historic catch patterns which form the basis of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy.

Because of climate change, more fish are now in UK waters than was the case when the Common Fisheries Policy was agreed. The EU has demanded continued access to UK waters "under existing conditions" as a condition of the UK-EU free trade agreement.

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, has hinted that a compromise could be found but ruled out annual negotiations and zonal attachment.

The last round of negotiations ended in mutual recrimination, with Mr Barnier and David Frost, the UK's chief negotiator, both urging the other to drop their red lines.

British negotiators also demanded that the EU consults with the UK before suspending or freezing out UK financial services from the EU market after Brexit.

The demand for "appropriate consultation" on equivalence decisions that allow non-EU countries access to the Single Market is sure to be rejected by Brussels.

Equivalence can be withdrawn at short notice, in some cases as little as 30 days, which industry figures say denies the sector the certainty it needs to invest.

As part of a draft free trade agreement it published on Tuesday, the UK called for the creation of a Financial Services Committee, which would meet every three months.

The committee would allow for "transparency and appropriate consultation in the process of adoption, suspension and withdrawal of equivalence decisions", the document said.

Brussels has shown a willingness to use equivalence as a political weapon. In July, the European Commission withdrew equivalence for Swiss stock exchanges in a bid to force Berne to renegotiate a treaty with the bloc.

The draft trade agreement exposed the deep divides between the UK and the EU over Brussels’ demand for level playing field guarantees on labour, state aid, tax and the environment.

The UK argues that the EU is asking for far more stringent "level playing field" guarantees than is normal in free trade agreement and that agreeing to them would restrict Britain's ability to diverge from EU rules after Brexit.

The EU says the stricter guarantees over fair competition are needed due to the proximity of the UK’s market and the goal of a zero-tariff, zero-quota free trade agreement. Both sides agree that the issue is a major stumbling block in the trade negotiations.

The EU has called for its state aid laws to continue to hold sway in Britain, with UK laws evolving to match the EU's over time. Such dynamic alignment would happen even though the UK would have no say in the writing of the laws.

It has also demanded that the UK does not fall below current environmental and labour standards.

The British assurances over fair competition are three short paragraphs, which recognise it "inappropriate" to encourage trade or investment by lowering standards.

David Henig, a trade expert and director of the European Centre for International Political Economy think tank, said the trade deal would never be acceptable to the EU and that the level playing field provisions were "flimsy".

He also said some of the British demands went far further than normal for EU trade deals with third countries, despite the UK's insistence to the contrary."

All very well, yet most of what Brit boats catch is exported, while most of what we eat is imported.

Leave the EU means UK shoots self in fishy foot in both directions: buying and selling.

Deep joy.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
All very well, yet most of what Brit boats catch is exported, while most of what we eat is imported.

Leave the EU means UK shoots self in fishy foot in both directions: buying and selling.

Deep joy.
Or we change what we eat.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
All very well, yet most of what Brit boats catch is exported, while most of what we eat is imported.

Leave the EU means UK shoots self in fishy foot in both directions: buying and selling.

Deep joy.
Or we just force the processing factories back to the UK, and then eat what we catch.

Job jobbed and employment, taxes, prosperity and sovereignty follow.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Good to know Stalinist economic policies didn't die with the collapse of the USSR?
No idea what is stalinist about stopping other countries from nicking your fish...

However if they do then hey can pay through the nose... For instance the new tariff of 20% on frozen prawns will raise some serious cash for the government, unless they somehow figure out a way of shelling and freezing small sea creatues in this country. Do you think that is possible?

Same with all sorts of other products.. Sure the EU countries can carry on selling us tobacco, after all they grow so much of it! Course the billion or so will now incur a 70% tariff so.... If I was them I'd be rapidly setting up UK production.

Which means invesment, jawwwbs, income tax, corp tax, ec etc.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Easier said than done, I suspect, sadly.
But not impossible. In my younger days, many moons ago, a takeaway meal consisted of fish n chips, chicken n chips if one was particularly flush. Now you can get virtually any cuisine going, Indian, Italian, Thai, Nepalese etc. The taste buds of the British people are quite capable of change, although I doubt we will get to the Chinese habit of eating everything of the animal, fish or bird.
 
All very well, yet most of what Brit boats catch is exported, while most of what we eat is imported.

Leave the EU means UK shoots self in fishy foot in both directions: buying and selling.

Deep joy.
Or, and I’m just spitballing here, things carry on pretty much as they are, but, EU trawlers have to pay for a licence to fish our waters rather than any one of them that wishes being able to come into our waters and clear them out. Money from licences, everyone gets the fish they want and we can protect stocks by imposing limits.

The idea that the UK has to remain in the EU in order for the right fish to end up in the right location is just laughable.
 
A lot of fish is sent to the far east for processing, before being sent back again for it’s ‘made in the EU’ stamps as its boxed for retail.
WuFlu has changed that dynamic somewhat.
 


We can ask the RN to kick off all they like. The issue is, we've given away our rights to fish our waters, which now has nothing to do with EU membership, but property law.
 


We can ask the RN to kick off all they like. The issue is, we've given away our rights to fish our waters, which now has nothing to do with EU membership, but property law.
From the source linked in the Guardian article:

"At the core of the problem lies the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), designed to share communal fishing grounds while protecting stocks, but condemned as ‘the most dysfunctional of all EU policies’ by the Open Europe think-tank. It is based on fishing quotas, doled out to countries and based on historic claims of catch sizes.

Crucially, when Britain negotiated entry to Europe, it won a poor deal that allowed French fleets, for instance, to take a far larger slice of stocks in the Channel.

Moreover, small-scale vessels – those under ten metres (30ft) in length – did not have to record landings at the time.

So although making up more than three-quarters of the British fishing fleet, they were belatedly given just four per cent of the national quota. "

So, apparently it is a result of EU membership after all. If we are no longer part of the CFP, is the Dutch license mentioned even valid any more?
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
All very well, yet most of what Brit boats catch is exported, while most of what we eat is imported.

Leave the EU means UK shoots self in fishy foot in both directions: buying and selling.

Deep joy.
Not really. It's a market solution that's evolved as a result of EU membership. Now we're no longer a member, the solution will evolve to reflect the new reality, just as it evolved when we joined the Common Market. It'll be the same for every sector and CORVID will probably accelerate the process.
 
Or we just force the processing factories back to the UK, and then eat what we catch.

Job jobbed and employment, taxes, prosperity and sovereignty follow.
Off on a slight tangent, but the banning in the UK of halal slaughtering would surely be a vote winner.
Of course, before the usual suspects kick off, they would be assured that the importation of halal meat remains legal.
The 100% tariff on said imports is cunningly concealed in the small print.
All in it together don'cha'know.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Start depth charge fishing. That'll learn the Frenchies. (I have seen this done using a ship launched Mk 12 Mortar, google HMS Rothesay) :)
 

Offa

War Hero
Off on a slight tangent, but the banning in the UK of halal slaughtering would surely be a vote winner.
Of course, before the usual suspects kick off, they would be assured that the importation of halal meat remains legal.
The 100% tariff on said imports is cunningly concealed in the small print.
All in it together don'cha'know.
How do you halal slaughter a fish?
 

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