We WON’T back down! Brave UK fishermen send Macron warning – ‘We’ll protect our waters!’
BRITISH fishermen have vowed to protect UK fisheries “themselves” if the Government doesn’t ensure EU trawlers do not illegally fish once the UK has left the European Union.
Brexit: EU will face ‘consequences’ for illegal fishing says Deas
British fishermen have delivered a warning to the UK Government to protect fisheries and to French fishing vessels considering illegally fishing in British waters once the UK has left the European Union. The British Government has repeatedly said the UK will once again become an “independent coastal state” once the country has fully cut ties with the Brussels bloc. But, earlier this summer, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) was criticised after a leaked email revealed their assessment on the UK’s ability to protect its waters in the event of a no deal Brexit.
DEFRA suggested Britain’s patrol boats could not fully protect the country’s waters after leaving the much-criticised Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which imposes strict catching quotas among EU countries.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Fishing for Leave spokesman Alan Hastings warned if the UK Government doesn’t protect British waters, then fishermen will simply do it themselves.
He said: “If the Government doesn’t ensure that EU boats don’t illegally fish in our waters then we will do it ourselves. It is as simple as that.
“If the Government doesn’t want a barney at sea, obey international law, obey domestic law, take back control of our waters and run them for our own national benefit, for our own fleet, for our own communities.
“That means the EU is going to cut its cloth and they are not to illegally fish in our waters. The Government has got to abide by international law to ensure they don’t.”
French fishermen were sent a warning if they decide to fish in UK waters illegally post-Brexit
Alan Hastings claimed the UK will be able to protect its waters post-Brexit
He added: “If the Government doesn’t want to stick up for Britain’s national interests, doesn’t want to obey international law to protect our waters. British fishermen will happily do it themselves.
“Let’s remember here, international law says nations coastal states will ensure sustainable fishing in their waters. That cuts two ways, one, you set management and catch limits to ensure that. On the EU side, that means they have got to cut their cloth to reflect the loss of their waters.
“Obviously, to fish sustainably it puts an obligation to not invade our waters. Plus they have got respect the sovereignty of nation-states.“
Only last year, in August, British boats clashed with French vessels in a feud dubbed the ‘Scallop war’, as trawlers collided and stones were thrown in a battle over a scallop-rich area, and warnings were made over potential fresh disputes post-Brexit.
But, responding to the leaked email earlier this summer, Mr Hastings insisted the UK had enough resources to protect British waters after Brexit.
He said: “At the end of the day, Norway, Iceland, Faroe Islands, they manage, with equal or lesser resources to protect their waters, and you don’t see mass illegal fishing going on there.
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