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Oh dear, Brussels! UK ‘holds all cards’ in no deal Brexit as EU ‘depends’ on British fish

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Barrie Deas, the CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, claimed the UK “holds all the cards” in a no deal Brexit as the EU fishes “five times more” in UK waters than Britain does in EU waters. He said there would have to be annual negotiations on fishing quotas. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Deas said: “If there’s a no deal this week or next week, you would have to have annual negotiations to set the quotas for next year.

“I would imagine there would be some talks there although the same issues would arise for the EU.

“If there’s no fisheries agreement then EU vessels don’t have access to fish in our waters – and they fish in our waters five times as much as we fish in their waters.

“It causes a big problem for them if there’s no movement on the quota shares.”

He added: “The UK holds all the cards in a no deal situation because the EU are so dependent on obtaining access to our waters to fish.”

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

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

It comes as 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.

He 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.

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

“The French is 84 percent.

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

“It’s those kind of extortions that the fishing industry wants ironed out.”

Disagreements over how to guarantee fair competition, fisheries, rules for settling disputes or the role of the EU’s top court have so far prevented progress as the bloc seeks to tie London closely to its rules while Boris Johnson wants to cut his country loose.

The Prime Minister wants a loose trade deal with the EU, the bloc is seeking much closer ties for the future covering climate, fishing, transport and security.

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