Tuesday, 20 Oct 2020

Brexit fishing fury: Ann Widdecombe savages Barnier’s fishing demands – ‘Doesn’t get it’

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Former Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe insisted the EU does not understand the UK is a sovereign state with the ability to set its own rules on fishing. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Ms Widdecombe argued Michel Barnier was behaving as if the EU had a right to fish in British waters. The Brexiteer firmly denied this and insisted, post-Brexit, the UK would be free to choose who fishes in British waters and to what capacity.

Ms Widdecombe said: “I think the position of Michel Barnier shows that the EU still doesn’t get it.

“They really don’t get it and they think we are going to be semi-detached after Brexit.

“We are not, we are going to be a sovereign state and we are going to be fully detached.

“All sovereign states control their own waters and we shall do that.”

DON’T MISS: Brexit fishing FURY: French fishermen lash out at UK demands

Ms Widdecombe emphasised that while the UK will have complete control over its waters, that does not automatically mean the UK will not allow EU member states access.

She continued: “Being a sovereign state doesn’t mean the EU can’t fish in our waters, of course it doesn’t.

“But what is does mean is that we will control the terms and the extent to which they do that.

“Michel Barnier just can’t get that, he seems to think the EU has some natural right to be there.

“They simply don’t, they don’t have any right at all to be in our waters other than such rights as we give them.”

With the end of the transition period, December 31 2020, quickly approaching fears have arisen over the likelihood of any form of deal being agreed between the UK and EU. 

Boris Johnson threatened to walk away from trade talks with the EU by this Thursday if a comprehensive deal was not agreed.

So far, the EU is yet to indicate that they will be sticking to this timetable and securing a future trading agreement with the UK in time. 

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This has left French fishermen frustrated and confused at the prospect of no longer being able to fish in British waters in 2021. 

While speaking to Sky News, French fishermen have argued there could be catastrophic consequences for their industry if they are not granted access to UK fishing waters. 

Fisherman Laurent Merlin said: “There is no fish left for us in French waters.

“Sole has completely disappeared already, the small amount that is left is in British waters.

“It’s not much better, but it’s better than in French waters, we will definitely disappear, that is for sure.”

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