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23rd Nov 2018

EU: Cave to our fishing demands or lose your precious fish and chips

This means war, most likely with Spain

Oli Dugmore

This means war, most likely with Spain

The UK risks losing its beloved fish and chips if it does not open its waters to other fishing vessels, the EU has warned.

In the Commons on Thursday Theresa May said she strongly rebuked an EU request for access to UK fishing waters as part of the future relationship between the two political bodies and resulting trade agreement.

But, the EU’s deputy Brexit negotiator tweeted shortly after that the UK relies on EU imports of cod and haddock and would not be able to continue eating fish and chips if those imports stopped.

The UK imports 110,000 tonnes of cod, catching only 21,000 tonnes itself. More than half of the haddock eaten in the UK is also imported, 47,000 tonnes. Reason being, most of the UK’s catch is herring or mackerel that is then swiftly exported to the Netherland and Norway. 7 per cent and 19 per cent of those fishing yields are used in the UK respectively.

As well as leaving the jurisdiction of the European court of justice and ending the free movement of people and financial contributions to the EU, leaving the common fisheries police has been absolutely central to Theresa May’s Brexit plan.

The 26-page draft political declaration, released this week, does not grant access to British waters but does say a fisheries agreement on access, quotas and conservation is targeted for agreement by July 2020.