Brexit: Fisherman discusses plan to 'look further afield'
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UK ministers set an agreement to strike a deal on fishing opportunities with the EU that needed to be reached by 14 April but the deadline has not been met. As the announcement was made by the UK Government, National Rally (RN) MEP France Jamet said Brexit had forced French fishermen to be deprived of access to British waters when they are “essential for their economic survival.”
She also claimed the Brexit agreement was “neither convincing in substance nor reassuring in form” for thousands of people working in the industry.
The MEP said: “In my country, France, the average age of fishermen is 42.
“That of their ships is 15 years in metropolitan France, and double in the French overseas territories.”
The National Rally MEP stressed the EU were “not able to grasp the essential issues that Brexit imposes today.”
She warned: “If it continues methodically to sacrifice fishermen as it has done for years, it would quite simply mean the death of this sector.
“The Commission must assume its responsibilities and meet these expectations.”
The attack on the Brussels bloc comes as UK officials today said “differences remain between the two parties” on the catch limits but said the numbers reflect progress in “negotiations up to this point.”
George Eustice, Environment Secretary, added: “We are committed to cooperating with the EU to reach an agreement.
“However, any agreement reached must be in the best interests of UK fishermen and we will not accept a poor deal.
“We have set provisional catch limits to allow these negotiations to conclude, and we will take steps to ensure that our fishermen have the certainty that they need – whatever the outcome.”
Under new quotas agreed, UK fishermen will receive an increase in quota for 57 species of fish.
However, shares for species such as Channel cod will not change with EU boats catching more than 90 percent of the species each year.
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A UK Government spokesman said: “The UK remains open to exchanges with the EU for 2021 and both parties will continue to explore the benefits of these swaps for their fishing industries.”
Fisheries remained a key sticking point during the Brexit trade talks last year and at several points threatened the collapse of the trade deal.
Officials close to the talks told Express.co.uk the quota negotiations were “more or less identical” stressing EU representatives walked away from the table at one point.
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