Monday, 3 July 2017
UK set to withdraw from 50-year agreement allowing five other countries to fish offshore
Foreign boats will no longer be allowed to catch fish close to Britain’s coastline under a move announced by Ministers today. Even before the UK leaves the European Union, it will tomorrow begin withdrawing from a 50-year agreement that allows five other countries to fish just a few miles off shore. The Government is to begin the two-year process to leave the agreement with France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.
Latest figures suggest that 10,000 tons of fish, worth £17 million were caught by vessels under the London Fisheries Convention in 2015. Last night new Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: ‘Leaving the London Fisheries Convention is an important moment as we take back control of our fishing policy. It means for the first time in more than 50 years we will be able to decide who can access our waters. This is an historic first step towards building a new domestic fishing policy as we leave the European Union – one which leads to a more competitive, profitable and sustainable industry for the whole of the UK.’
However, environmental law consultant Dr Tom West said: ‘As a country outside the EU we need to consider how we can best co-operate with our neighbours rather than unilaterally withdrawing from all agreements in the hope that standing alone will make us better.’