‘EU depends on us!’ Brussels to beg UK for deal to defend fisheries post-Brexit transition

Brexit: June Mummery calls on Boris Johnson to 'hold firm'

The European Union has maintained they want to include clauses in the Brexit trade deal with the UK that would grant EU vessels access to British waters past December 31. The British Government rejected the demands, accusing Brussels of attempting to maintain its influence over the UK despite Brexit through pressure on the fish markets. June Mummery insisted that whether an agreement is reached or not before December Brussels will plead for a deal as they “depend on us” for the survival of their fishing industries.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ms Mummery said: “Where will they get their raw material from? 80 percent of EU fish comes out of our waters.

“Where are they miraculously going to conjure that out from? Of course, they’re going to want to deal with us.

“Are they going to shut down all their factories and lay all their employees off? Shove tariffs on our trading? Then we’ll put tariffs on cars, and wines and tea.

“When you really weigh everything up, there’s nothing that we get from the EU that we can’t source elsewhere.”

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France and the Netherlands have emerged as two of the most demanding members of the union when it comes to fishing rights after the UK has left the customs union and the single market.

French fishermen, in particular, have not masked their concerns about Brexit putting the next nail in the coffin of an industry already struggling to survive through the coronavirus crisis and its economic aftermath.

Fisherman Nicolas Margolle told France24 earlier in the week: “If there’s a no deal, it is going to be complicated because European boats won’t have access to British waters anymore.

“So we are all going to find ourselves in the French strip, with all the Belgian, Dutch boats, the French of course.

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Brexit: Emmanuel Macron calls for 'fair agreement' on fisheries

“There’s never going to be enough room for everyone, and so the resources are going to be wiped out.”

Fishing has little economic weight on both the UK and French economies but has emerged as a crucial political point neither side is willing to compromise on.

Kees Bakhuis, a spokesman for the Dutch fishing industry bodies VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland said: “‘It is important for Dutch fisheries that clear agreements are made about fishing rights giving them continued access to British waters.

“It is also important to have clarity at a stroke, rather than an agreement that is revised on a yearly basis.”

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Speaking at the end of an intense EU Summit in Brussels, Mr Macron was asked about his tough stance on fisheries but insisted he is only asking for a “fair” agreement with the UK.

Speaking on Friday, Mr Macron said: “On fisheries, we know the terms and I’m coherent.

“I don’t want my cake and eat it too, no, but I do want a fair agreement.”

Despite talks set to continue until Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson sounded the alarm bells after his meeting with Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels warning businesses and the public they must prepare for a no deal Brexit now. 

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