Home Brexit Danish fishermen will not accept ‘handing anything back to the UK’

Danish fishermen will not accept ‘handing anything back to the UK’

by LLB Reporter
3rd Mar 20 1:15 pm

Danish fishermen have strong fears over the UK taking back control of British fishing territory as Brexit negotiations are now under way.

Brussels are insisting the current access to UK waters and the current share held by each member state will stay the same.

The battleground has therefore been laid as Boris Johnson has made it clear, Brexit has happened and we are taking back our waters for UK fisherman only, he has insisted London will decide and not Brussels.

Many EU skippers are fearful over a very uncertain future, as one fisherman said “I can’t really accept the argument of handing anything back to the UK.”

On Monday Emmanuel Macron the French president declared war over fisheries and warned, French fishermen will block all cross-Channel ports if the British government does not agree a fishing trade deal with the EU.

Boris Johnson’s government has been threatened to prepare for a “very nasty battle,” that Europe will be “paralysed” unless French fishermen are happy with a post Brexit free trade agreement.

The French blockades could spread to Belgium with Dutch fishermen also taking part in blocking trade through Rotterdam and Zeebrugge.

Danish fisherman Fridi Magnussen, owner of the 246ft trawler Asbjoern told the BBC, “60% of our catches come from UK waters, so Brexit is a big issue for us.

“The saying is they will ‘take back control’ and we don’t know what that means.

“We go back to what? Through history we have been able to fish in the North Sea and the UK waters, for all time.”

Johnson’s government wants to take back control of its exclusive economic zone which stretches up to 200 nautical miles offshore.

Esben Sverdrup-Jensen of the Danish Pelagic Producer’s Organisation said, “I can’t really accept the argument of handing anything back to the UK, as Danish fishermen have been operating in those waters for centuries.

“Handing back anything is not really any sort of an argument.

“No, I can’t see the Danish government signing up to anything that would be in conflict with the mandate agreed upon in the EU.”

Danish fish processing firm boss Johannes Palsson said if the UK insists its boats can catch more it will face problems trying to find markets for certain varieties.

Palsson said, “The biggest volumes of herrings for instance are consumed in the EU. Not that much in the UK.

“It might be hard for the UK to sell, because the EU could impose tariffs, taxing any imports.

“Or English people have to learn to eat herring – a lot of it.”

Boris Johnson’s lead negotiators David Frost and Sir Time Barrow are in the EU and have started negotiations on Tuesday with Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator.

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