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