Brexit has been hailed by British coastal communities as the opportunity to free fishermen from the restrictions of the controversial Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Brexit Party MEP June Mummery echoed the sentiment telling Express.co.uk Britain’s departure from the European Union will put an end to the “greed” some EU member states have shown towards British waters. But Ms Mummery also warned Boris Johnson to beware of demands to include fisheries in the trade talks the Prime Minister is expected to embark on with Brussels in the new year.
Ms Mummery said: “Mr Johnson promised a Canada Plus Plus deal – that means we leave. My advice would be, we leave, we take back full control of our waters and the fish.
“We then let things settle for a while. Obviously the French and the Dutch are going to be absolutely… I don’t know what’s going to happen there because the majority of the fish they catch is in our waters.
“We ‘ve already seen Ireland and Denmark demanding fisheries are part of any trade agreement and we know Emmanuel Macron wants to keep EU access in the terms of any trade deal.”
French President Emmanuel Macron repeatedly warned the British Government he and other European Union leaders will ensure their countries face no disadvantage once a trade deal is signed with the UK.
Emmanuel Macron could demand access to UK waters in exchange for a trade deal
Emmanuel Macron made clear in the first phase of talks member states will ensure their interests are protected
Fishing is expected to become a contentious issue during trade talks next year, as French fishermen, as well as the Dutch and the Danish, have long capitalised on free access to British access.
Mr Macron is especially considered a key figure of concern as repeated warnings from the French fishing sector highlighted the risk of being completely shunned from UK waters.
But Ms Mummery insisted the existing relationship between EU and British fishermen will be allowed to continue – but on the terms of the British Government.
She continued: “I sell fish to the Dutch and they might want to fish here but they can’t – they’ve got to do it on our terms. And sustainably.
Brexiteer fishermen have long demanded the UK takes back full control of its waters from EU vessels
“It’s the greed of the people, the greed of the Dutch. EU fishing boats have just annihilated this coast and there’s no fish.
“That’s what you call pure and utter greed and that’s got to stop.”
Pas-de-Calais Senator Catherine Fournier suggested 75 percent of the fishermen living in her constituency could lose their “total revenue” should they not be able to fish in UK waters.
Ms Fournier said: “Around 75 percent of fishing taking place in Haute France takes place in British territorial waters – 75 percent.
“It’s vital to fishermen, it’s their total revenue. What will be of them? What type of agreement could they get? When you invest on a fishing boat, the investment is huge.”
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Catherine Fournier suggested 75 percent of the fishermen could lose their “total revenue”
The CFP has been regulating access to EU members’ waters since the 1970s
Trawler Eric Gosselin said members of the fishing community in northern France have been fishing in British waters “since the Middle Ages” and Brexit could force Brussels to agree to changes to the CFP regulating fishing across the bloc.
Mr Gosseling said: “It’s been generations – I’m part of a community that has been fishing in British waters since the Middle Ages.
“It’s the rule of relative stability which has been regulating access since the EU was formed, which has regulated the repartition of quotas, the percentage according to which the quotas should be distributed.
“The fact we have a country withdrawing could suggest the relative stability rule should be renegotiated.”
Despite Boris Johnson’s pledge to deliver British waters back to fishermen after Brexit, BBC Europe Editor Katya Adler warned his optimism to deliver immediately after withdrawal might be misplaced.
Speaking in November, Ms Adler said: “Boris Johnson promised fishermen sovereignty over UK waters after Brexit but the French, the Spanish, the Danes and the Dutch will demand fishing rights in UK waters.