Industry leaders are seeking clarity from the Prime Minister on the proposed new fisheries agreement within the Brexit settlement amid concerns about a linkage between access for EU vessels to UK waters and tariff-free access for UK seafood suppliers to the EU market.
SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: “The industry’s priority has always been taking back control of decision-making over who catches what, where and when in our waters, so that we can end once and for all the grossly unfair situation where 60% of our stocks are taken, gratis, by boats from other EU nations.
“That would mean the UK becoming a fully independent Coastal State with its own seat at all the relevant international fisheries negotiations from December 2020 on and regaining its proud status as one of the world’s major fishing nations. Negotiations over trade terms for seafood products would follow on from this.
“Any linkage between access and trade contravenes all international norms and practice and is simply unacceptable in principle.
“Therefore we have asked the Prime Minister for assurances that the establishment of a new fisheries agreement as laid out in the Brexit arrangements does not imply that EU vessels will be guaranteed continued access to our waters in return for favourable trade terms.”