That was the uncompromising message delivered today by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) prior to the UK’s formal exit from the EU on Friday.
SFF chief executive Elspeth Macdonald said: “We are now entering the transition period, and for our members that means a phased exit from the Common Fisheries Policy that must be completed by the end of this year.
“But if we are to secure the benefits that leaving the CFP will bring, the Sea of Opportunity that lies just over the horizon, the UK must have sovereignty over who catches what, where and when in our waters.
“To be clear, we have never said that we wanted to deny EU vessels the opportunity to fish in UK waters post-Brexit. Our consistent position has been that we want unfettered control over access. Then, as a coastal state, we can negotiate with the EU and others on an annual basis in international forums.
“This is what Norway, Iceland and Faroe – and indeed the EU itself – do. Over time this will allow the UK to obtain a much fairer share of the quota in its own waters than the 40% it is entitled to under the CFP.”