In an interview to the Times Michael Gove has set out various points about fisheries (see below). ‘The source told the Times: “You have to take everything they say with scepticism because this is a negotiation.’

Meanwhile the NFFO are looking elsewhere for ideas from Norway, Australia and a group of international scientists.

We MUST leave common fisheries policy IMMEDIATELY Gove demands return to British control

Simon Osborne Express: ‘Britain should pull out of the European Union common fisheries policy straight after Brexit, according to Environment Secretary Michael Gove. Brussels warned an immediate withdrawal could harm the prospects of a “no change” transition deal but Mr Gove appears happy to call the EU’s bluff. He is understood to have told cabinet colleagues fishing policy must come back under British control the moment it leaves the European Union and not at the end of a two-year period, when Brussels could set quotas without a say from Britain.

But senior EU figures say “carving out” fisheries from the deal would “depart from the logic and the letter” of Theresa’s May’s speech in Florence last month.  They claim it was a “non-starter from the side of the EU” and the move will also be opposed by some member states with powerful fishing lobbies, such as Spain. Under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the European Commission sets quotas for fish stocks that can be caught within all European waters and divides those quotas between national fleets.

Britain has a relatively large fishing zone, which has led critics to claim that it loses out to other European fleets because the system gives them unfair access to UK waters. If Britain pulled out of the CFP it would regain the ability to control all fishing within 200 miles of the coast under international law. Mr Gove argues because quotas are set annually, it would be unfair to expect Britain to stay within the CFP while being forced to abide by its rules.

He is believed to favour a new system in which the Government would grant licences for vessels registered in member states to fish in its waters and negotiate overall quotas for fishing in European waters trilaterally alongside Norway and the EU. EU supporters say much of the fish landed in Britain is exported to member states and that outside the CFP tariffs would be imposed upon them.

Richard Corbett, a Labour MEP who sits on the European parliament’s fisheries committee, said: “If we deny EU countries access to our waters, then the EU is going to say that you can’t sell tariff-free into our markets. “Why is Norwegian salmon more expensive than Scottish salmon? It’s not because it’s a premium product, it’s because it has tariffs slapped on it by the EU.”

Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said: “The problem is that when we leave the EU we will not be part of the decision-making process that sets annual quotas. It would be a case of ‘get what you’re given’ and that can’t work for fishing. Government sources suggested Europe’s hard line on the CFP might ease.

The source told the Times: “You have to take everything they say with scepticism because this is a negotiation.  “It is hard for them to argue that we need to remain part of the CFP but with no say on how quotas are divided up. That is simply not tenable.”

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