Leak Reveals Government Bracing for Post-Brexit “Clashes” Between UK and EU Fishermen

The Government’s secret ‘Reasonable Worst Case Scenario’ planning document for the event of no UK-EU FTA at the end of the transition period was compiled in July. As that potential scenario races closer and the Government makes preparations for the not impossible event of No Deal – potentially brought about from disagreement over fish – Guido thought he would share what could befall EU and UK fishermen. Battles at sea…

“EU and UK fishers could clash over the lost access to historic fishing grounds, and there could be a significant uplift in illegal fishing activities and disruptive behaviour.”

The document outlines the expected battle plans. In January, the Government expects EU vessels to target the high-value mackerel fishery in Scottish waters. Meanwhile, the main threat to English waters is expected in the Southern North Sea (Dutch and Belgian beam trawlers); English Channel (mixed fishing); and Celtic Sea (French and Irish mixed trawlers). As the document says…

“This is likely to cause anger and frustration in the UK catching sector – particularly if our enforcement response is not perceived to be robust or visible enough – which could lead to clashes between fishing vessels and an increase in non-compliance in the domestic fleet, either in our own waters or in EU waters if UK vessels attempt to fish there.”

Guido’s wonders whether the Government is wishing it still had a navy of more than 77 ships…

Read the Government’s assessment of ‘reasonable worst case’ fishing battles in full here…

mdi-tag-outline Fishing
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