Ac­cess rights ‘must not be tied to Brexit trade deal’

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE -

Scot­tish Fish­er­men’s Fed­er­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Ber­tie Arm­strong in­sisted yes­ter­day that ac­cess rights to UK wa­ters must not be tied into any Brexit trade deal.

It fol­lows re­ports that EU diplo­mats were de­mand­ing “free ac­cess” to UK fish­ing grounds as part of Bri­tain’s di­vorce from the EU.

Mr Arm­strong said: “Tak­ing charge of our own rich wa­ters will hap­pen at Brexit – it is sim­ply the right thing for a mar­itime na­tion sit­ting astride some of the best fish­ing grounds in the world to do.

“The ab­so­lute key – our back­stop – will be gov­er­nance on UK terms.

“The in­dus­try has never called for blan­ket bans for for­eign ves­sels but, as the PM has com­mit­ted to, we must move away from the present ab­sur­dity of giv­ing away 60% or more of all fish caught in our wa­ters.

“To the EU, we say ‘stop try­ing to tie gen­eral trade to ac­cess to fish­ing op­por­tu­nity which is not yours un­der the law’ and to the UK Gov­ern­ment, ‘stick to the com­mit­ments al­ready made’.”

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