Brexit news: Norway leads coastal rebellion against UK as British boats tied up | Politics | News

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Boris Johnson ‘sacrificed fishing industry’ says June Mummery

Under the trade deal secured by Boris Johnson in December, the EU was allowed to keep 75 percent of the value of the fish it now catches in UK waters, with 25 percent being returned to British fishermen over the transition period. From 2026, Britain will be able to cut quotas or exclude boats in a zone of 6-12 nautical miles.

It is also believed UK boats will have access to an extra £145million of fishing quota every year by this period.

Last month, Norway, Britain and the EU reached a trilateral deal on catch limits for jointly managed North Sea fish stocks.

The new deal covered common North Sea fishing quotas for cod, haddock, plaice, whiting, herring and saithe and marked the first step towards ending legal havoc in key fishing waters.

But now, pressure group UK Fisheries has called upon the Government to save distant-water fishing as vessels, who still have no access to Norwegian waters, remain tied up.

Norway leads coastal rebellion against UK as British boats tied up

Norway leads coastal rebellion against UK as British boats tied up (Image: Getty)

Norway leads coastal rebellion against UK as British boats tied up

Norway leads coastal rebellion against UK as British boats tied up (Image: Getty)

In their campaign, they said: “Despite two years of campaigning to save the UK’s distant-waters fishing industry, our state-of-the-art vessel Kirkella is once again tied up in Hull, and we at UK Fisheries still have no access to the Norwegian coastal waters where our crews should be working right now.”

They went on to say how they have “provided a clear and simple negotiating roadmap” which would not cost the taxpayers any money.

Their roadmap would also “secure us Arctic cod quota in the Norwegian zone”.

However, despite cross-party support, they accused the Government of failing to “take this logical step”.

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Boris Johnson secured trade deal in December

Boris Johnson secured trade deal in December (Image: Getty)

They said: “The UK continues to offer Norway something for nothing, and it is our crews and our industry that are suffering.

“Brexit was supposed to deliver a ‘sea of opportunity’ to British fishermen, but from Penzance to Peterhead boats are lying idle and parts of the industry are having to rely on life-support funding from Westminster and the devolved governments.

“It doesn’t have to be like this.

“We’re not asking for cash, just clear direction from policymakers that our negotiators must use all of the cards at their disposal if we are not to lose this vital, centuries-old industry for good.”

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Brexit endgame

Brexit endgame (Image: Express)

They went on to say how as an independent coastal state, the UK must “negotiate quotas with third countries that are no less than we would have if we had remained in the EU – anything less is a failure”.

In their scathing attack on the Government, UK Fisheries continued: “In Norway, this means agreeing at least 16.95k tonnes of Arctic cod out of the 25k tonnes set aside for third countries by Norway in its economic zone.

“If the Government were ambitious and secured the full 25k tonnes this would create a much-needed expansion of the UK distant waters fleet with new jobs and secure an extra £60-100million of investment in the fleet.”

Norway, which is outside the EU but inside the European single market, had previously negotiated annually with the bloc about the management of common fish stocks, access to each other’s waters and exchange of fish quotas.

Fishing was a major sticking point in negotiations

Fishing was a major sticking point in negotiations (Image: Getty)

During negotiations with the EU last year, the UK wanted any fishing agreement to be separate from the trade deal with access negotiated annually in a similar fashion to Norway’s agreement with the bloc.

Fishing was one of the main sticking points during negotiations and since the UK’s departure from the bloc, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been forced to offer a £23million compensation package to the fishing industry.

Back in January, Mr Johnson said: “Well, I’m also saying that is where businesses through no fault of their own have experienced bureaucratic delays or difficulties getting their goods through where there is a genuine, willing buyer on the other side of the channel, and they’ve had a problem, then there’s a £23 million compensation fund that we set up and we’ll make sure that they get help.”

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Image: Getty)

Mr Johnson admitted there were “teething problems” with the Brexit deal but reassured, “funds have been put in place”.

He continued: “Insofar as there are problems at the moment caused by teething problems, people not filling in the right forms or misunderstandings and, when it’s not people’s fault, of course, we’re going to compensate and help out.

“Funds have been put in place to do that, but be in no doubt that there are great opportunities for fishermen across the whole of the UK to take advantage of the spectacular marine wealth of the United Kingdom.”



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