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Brexit Gove endorses EU access to UK fishing territory
© Policy Exchange

UK environment secretary endorses EU fishing access


UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed that some foreign trawlers will still have access to UK waters after Brexit.

Gove said British fishermen would not have the capacity to land all of the fish in UK territorial waters.

He said that controlled access would therefore be granted to vessels from other countries.

He was speaking during a fact-finding mission to Denmark, which was largely focused on the Danish food industry.

The Danish fishing industry is currently highly dependent on fish caught in UK waters.

The meeting was attended by Niels Wichmann, chief executive of the Danish Fishermens Producers Organization (DFPO), who said that there was no suggestion from Gove that Denmark would receive preferential treatment.

He said that Gove “did not say numerous countries, he just said other countries” would be granted access.

“The thing is he was just being realistic and he was saying that we need, within the Brexit negotiations phase, to find out where the final goal is, the final solution to the fisheries.

“The fisheries will be outside the common fisheries policy and we need a transitional period. In that transitional period we will have to have access from other countries.”

Wichmann also said that the Danes were seeking a deal that would effectively mean “business as usual” with regard to access to UK fisheries after Brexit.

Gove’s remarks in Denmark follow an appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show in July, when he said no foreign boats would be allowed to fish within six to 12 miles of the UK coast.

Pan European Networks Ltd