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Brexit fishing warning: Lord Frost demands EU be reasonable in fisheries row
October 7, 2020
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The UK’s chief negotiator Lord David Frost announced there were potential plans for a fishing transition period to help fishermen adjust to the changes. While speaking to the Future Relationship with the European Union Committee, Lord Frost demanded the EU be reasonable so the fishing issue could quickly be resolved. If not, he warned this could cause significant disruption for EU member state fishing communities at the end of the Brexit transition.
Conservative MP Jane Stevenson asked for more details on how this possibility would work with the EU.
She said: “Your new legal text shared with the EU this week reportedly offers a transition period for EU fishermen.
“Can you briefly outline how a transition period would work?”
Lord Frost replied: “Once again, I don’t want to go into the detail of this.
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“The problem we face and the opportunity that we have in fishing in future is that the EU fish almost half of the fish in our waters.
“We made clear that there needs to be a huge change to that situation in the future and that is something we intend to secure.”
Lord Frost admitted this would massively impact fishing communities in the European Union and noted it was important the EU was reasonable to avoid this disruption.
He said: “Obviously, there is going to be an effect on EU fishing communities from that.
“It seems entirely reasonable to us that, provided the endpoint is one that we wish to get to, there can be some glide path to get there.
“There are quite significant limits to what can be done there because our fishermen are eager to grasp the opportunities.
“But we are still trying to find a way of dealing with what is politically realistic and possible here.
“That is the underlying principle that is behind the transition period.
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“That is why we have indicated it could be potentially part of the solution.”
He closed by saying: “We remain in close touch with the fishing associations about the course of the negotiations.
“I don’t think we would wish to conclude an agreement that didn’t satisfy the reasonable expectations of the UK fishermen.”