Frustrations are growing in Brussels, as EU sources believe that the EU-UK negotiations are being misrepresented by certain bodies who are trying to usurp the Withdrawal Talks.
A reliable source told The Fishing Daily that the EU fully recognises the UK as an independent coastal state and will negotiate with the British Government on that basis, but there are concerns about the continued disruptive efforts of certain individuals and organisations.
The EU claim they are not looking to impose a continuation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) on the UK fishing fleet, and the source feels that this has been misrepresented by the media and others who are not party to the negotiations; this misrepresentation is leading UK fishermen and the wider public to believe the EU is still aiming to keep control over the UK waters after the end of the transition period which ends 31.12.2020.
The source told The Fishing Daily:
“It should be clear by now for the UK that:
- The European Union fully recognises the independent coastal state of the UK and has full control of its waters; and
- The European Union is not seeking to impose the Common Fisheries Policy on a third country.”
The source continued that the EU is clear on what it wants concerning fisheries, and that is to establish a continued partnership in terms of quota and access, but as yet the UK has not put any figures on the table in regard to what a “fairer share” means.
The EU acknowledges UK sovereignty of its Exclusive Economic Zone, but are concerned that the government in the UK is not preparing for next year when they will take their position at the table as an independent coastal state.
The source surmised “The UK fishing industry has already won two battles: regaining the sovereignty of its waters, and not being part of the EU Common Fisheries Policy. What needs to be decided is what level of cooperation the EU and the UK will have on shared stocks, an agreement on quota shares, and what fishing opportunities/access the UK will grant EU vessels”.
This is why the EU believes it is important for fisheries to be tied in to trade negotiations.
The EU wants the continued supply of fresh fish from the UK fishing fleet into the EU market after 31st of December 2020. To achieve that, both sides must have an agreement in place; failing this Covid-19-like impacts could persist if we don’t have an agreement. The UK would have its waters. No EU fishing in UK waters. Unilateral TAC setting. No UK access to EU markets….or at least very difficult.