We’re going nowhere! Michel Barnier gloats over access to UK fishing water ‘beyond 2026’
Brexit: Boris Johnson promises fishing changes by 2026
The Brussels diplomat said EU vessels would be granted “reciprocal access to waters and stable quota shares for all stocks for the long term,” before pointedly adding: “2026 onwards.” His pledge largely ignores Boris Johnson’s vow that Britain will have taken back full control of its coastal waters after a five-and-a-half year transition period in the Brexit trade deal. Mr Barnier made the claim during a meeting of EU27 fisheries ministers earlier today.
After the video conference, he said: “Together with Virginijus Sinkevicius, a useful and important stock-take today with EU fisheries ministers.
“Fisheries agreement guarantees reciprocal access to waters and stable quota shares for all stocks for the long terms (2026 onwards).
“Priority is now full implantation.”
Under the terms of the UK-EU future relationship agreement, Brussels agreed to hand back 25 percent by value of the fish European boats catch in British waters.
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The change will be phased-in gradually up until June 2026, after which No10 will be responsible for granting future fishing opportunities.
Annual negotiations will be used to decide future access to Britain’s coastal waters.
But if Brussels feels its trawlermen have been unfairly locked out of our fishing grounds they will be able to slap Britain with trade sanctions.
These will initially be on fishing products being exported to the EU but can eventually be escalated to cover the entire agreement.
Amid signs new post-Brexit red tape is harming the UK’s fishing industry, Mr Johnson said the EU split will deliver an “El Dorado” of riches for our boats.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, he said: “It is absolutely true that some British fishermen have faced barriers owing to complications over form filling.
“And, one of the biggest problems is that, alas, there is a decline in appetite for fish in continental markets because most of the restaurants are shut.”
He added: “The reality is that Brexit will deliver and is delivering a huge uplift in a quota in the next five years.
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“By 2026, the fishing people of this country will have access to all the fish in all the territorial waters of this country.
“To get them ready for that El Dorado, we’re investing £100 million in improving our boats our fish processing industry, and getting fishing, ready for the opportunities ahead.”
A leaked EU memo claimed Prime Minister Mr Johnson caved on fisheries in order to secure a trade deal with the bloc.
Diplomats and officials say the Prime Minister gave much more ground than the bloc on fisheries in order to secure the post-Brexit trade and security pact.
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According to a leaked analysis of the deal, one member state claims the EU has tough mechanisms to ensure Britain doesn’t lock out the bloc’s fishermen after a five-and-a-half-year transition period.
The diplomatic memo, seen by Express.co.uk, claims Boris Johnson has made the biggest concession as part of the fishing agreement.
The note said: “On fish, the UK started at 80 percent, the EU 18 percent. It has become 25 percent with a transitional period of five-and-a-half years.
“After five-and-a-half years, it will be renegotiated. If that does not produce sufficient results, the treaty gives the EU the opportunity to take action.
“First in the field of fish, but ultimately, if necessary, also via an escalation ladder on the entire agreement.”
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