Brexit: Fishing chief hits out at 'disappointing' trade deal
The Brexit deal was finally wrapped up when the UK and EU agreed fishing rights, but it has since proved controversial. Few in fishing are pleased with the detail of the agreement, including Barrie Deas, the chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations. He spoke to Sky News correspondent Joe Pike about claims that the UK Government have caved in and rolled over.
Mr Deas said: “Other national priorities have taken precedence, and fishing has been sacrificed.
“I think the fishing industry felt that this was our moment in the sun.
“This was when we had political priority that was really unprecedented.
“Now we’re in the situation of an unknown outcome in five to five and half years time.”
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Under the terms of the deal, EU fishing fleets will have their access to UK waters reduced by 25 percent.
However it will only happen gradually over a transition period of five and half years.
After that quotas will be decided by annual negotiations.
The deal will increase British fishermen’s share of fishing rights in UK waters from about a half to two-thirds.
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Currently half the catch in France’s northern ports comes from British waters.
Three quarters of Britain’s catch is sold to the EU.
Fishing was one of the outstanding sticking points left in negotiations.
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EU ambassadors are due to meet in Brussels to discuss the agreement.
In Westminster, the UK Government will tell businesses to make final preparations before the transition period ends.
On December 30, Parliament is expected to approve the deal before it kicks in on December 31.
The SNP are expected to vote against the agreement.
In contrast, most Conservative and Labour MPs will back it, meaning it will be passed.
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