Terrified German fishermen fear being CUT from Brexit Britain’s waters -‘not looking good’
GERMAN fishing chiefs have warned a no deal Brexit could spell disaster for the industry – and see herring taken off the menu.
Brexit: Fishing water control ‘is international law’ says Eustice
Claus Ubl, head of the German Fisheries Association, said his members would face an uncertain future if their access to British waters was blocked. He urged Brexit negotiators to strike a deal to protect the industry but also the supply of herring – Germany’s fourth favourite fish.
It’s not looking good
Mr Ubl said: “It’s not looking good. Because if the British implement an unregulated Brexit, then the German ships will no longer be allowed in the British territorial waters.”
Mr Ubl’s fears were confirmed by legal expert Valentin Schatz who specialises in fisheries disputes between states and has studied the Brexit small print.
He said: “It will definitely be difficult and should it come to a sudden cut, then this will affect first and foremost the EU fleets.”
German fishermen fear being denied access to Britain’s lucrative fishing grounds
Mr Schatz said European fishermen may have been trawling British waters for centuries but still do not have an established right to do so.
He said: “There is no regulation under international law which states that just because other states had access for a certain amount of time, this access also has to remain.
“Now, you could say ‘okay the European fishermen will just fish somewhere else’, but this is also not possible.
“Because herring, for example, which is the fourth most popular fish in Germany, is especially prevalent in the waters around Scotland, and especially now, during November.
“Herring can also be found elsewhere in the North Sea, and technically it would also be able to fish for it there.”
German fishermen bring in the valuable herring catch
German Chancellor Angela Merkel enjoys a pickled herring
Mr Ubl said moving the herring fleet away from UK coastal waters was possible warned it would not remain viable for long.
He said: “You can fish for it there, but it takes much more effort because it is less concentrated.
“It would take a lot of time to go there, search for the shoals, so that this would all take too much effort and would not be worth it.
“And this means in case of an unregulated Brexit, herring will most likely get scarcer and more expensive. Not a good outlook.
“But what the Brits want to do with all the herring is unclear, because in Great Britain it is not very popular.
“They prefer cod and haddock.”
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier is back in London for trade talks with his Downing Street counterpart Lord Frost.
Mr Barnier tweeted that he was “happy to be back” in the capital, with the two teams “redoubling our efforts” for an agreement.
He listed the three major sticking points – governance, the level playing field and fishing policies – as the three “keys to unlock a deal”.
German fishermen are urging negotiators to strike a Brexit deal
Environment Secretary George Eustice indicated a possible compromise on fisheries, which has been a major point of contention delaying progress on a deal.
He said: “There are still differences, there are still some obstacles to overcome.
“But I think there is now some goodwill on both sides to progress things.”
Time is fast running out to have a deal in place by the end of the transition period on December 31, with businesses fearing the high trade tariffs they would face in the absence of an agreement.
(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)
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