Oh dear, Brussels! Fishing chief warns no deal Brexit to devastate ‘vulnerable’ EU states

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Brexit negotiator David Frost has said there has been “little progress” during trade negotiations with Michel Barnier amid differences on fisheries policy and state aid rules. But cutting off EU states from the UK’s rich natural resources will come at a “huge cost”, according to Barrie Deas, the CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations. He explained that many EU states are “vulnerable” without a trade deal on fisheries.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Deas said: “No coastal state accepts that as part of a trade deal another country should have free access to its natural resources.

“That’s just not an accepted norm. A trade deal is where both sides would benefit from removing tariffs as far as possible and having frictionless trade.

“We know we’re not going to be in the single market so it’s not going to be as it was before.

“But there are big advantages on both sides to have a trade deal and huge costs on both sides if there’s no trade deal.

“Some member states are very vulnerable and fisheries are a separate thing.

“The EU is making a deal on fisheries contingent on a deal trade but the UK doesn’t accept that linkage and neither do I think it should.”

Mr Deas revealed that France takes 84 percent of the quota for cod in the English Channel while the UK is allowed only nine percent.

He explained that the extortionate quotas need to be ironed out in a Brexit trade deal between the UK and EU.

The bloc wants to see the status quo maintained for fishing access and quotas, but the UK Government wants Britain to have controls of its own waters.

Mr Deas said: “EU vessels have automatic access to the resource-rich UK waters.

“That’s what underpins everything, the deal from the 1970s.

“When quotas were introduced in 1983, a decade later, they reflected that original deal.

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“You have situations like, in Channel Cod, the UK share of that quota is nine percent.

“The French is 84 percent.

“Celtic Sea haddock where the UK share is 10 percent and the French share is 66 percent.

“It’s those kinds of extortions that the fishing industry wants ironing out.”

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