Are British fishermen about to be sold out yet again?
EU boats can carry on fishing in British waters after Brexit – that’s according to Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who’s just committed yet another Brexit back-track.
Gove served up the British fishing industry on a plate when he met industry representatives in Denmark, reportedly telling them Britain doesn’t have the capacity to extract all the fish from our territorial waters, so EU vessels may as well help us out.
According to Niels Wichmann, Managing Director of the Danish Fisheries Association, who attended the meeting, Gove said: “The British do not have the capacity to catch and process all the fish in British waters. Therefore, fishermen from Denmark and other EU countries will continue to have access to British waters after Brexit.
“It is still very positive and a little surprising that it comes from a British politician so early in the negotiation process.” Brits will certainly all be very surprised, Niels.
The Director of Denmark’s Industrial Fisheries Association, Esben Sverdrup-Jensen, also confirmed Gove’s comments, saying: “It is very positive that the British Minister at the meeting clearly stated that fishermen from Denmark and other EU countries will still have access to British waters after Brexit.”
Danish newspaper Finans couldn’t believe what great news this was for Denmark, writing: “This is positive for fishermen in Denmark, France and Spain, for Brexit is a potential disaster for Danish fishing – which on average accounts for 40% of its catches in British waters.
“They have long feared that after Brexit the British will seriously threaten to enforce a 200-mile limit and throw out all foreign fishermen.”
Westmonster contacted Gove’s Department for Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs, and a spokesperson said: “Leaving the EU means we will take back control of our territorial waters. As we have always said, other countries will be able to access to our waters – but for the first time in 50 years it will be on our terms and under our control.
“We will allocate quotas on the basis of what is scientifically sustainable, making sure we have a healthy marine environment and profitable fishing industry in the UK.”
But UKIP Fisheries Spokesman, Mike Hookem, said: “Gove’s comments in Denmark prove the Conservatives are not serious about regaining our fishing grounds and are instead looking to barter them away around Europe in return for Brexit concessions.”
British coastal communities have been decimated by EU fishing quotas and when they voted for Brexit they were voting to take back control of our territorial waters and put money back into their own pockets – not hand cash to Scandinavia or mainland Europe. Gove should go if he doesn’t protect our waters.