French newspaper Ruptures producing documentary on Brexit
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Now just over a year into the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, former Brexit Party MEP for the East of England, June Mummery, claimed “Brexit isn’t done”. Despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledging to take back control, the UK remains a net importer of fish from the EU, with the former MEP claiming he has not reclaimed control of Britain’s waters. She said: “Brexit isn’t done. We haven’t taken back control of our waters.
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“1,700 EU vessels 8 of which are supertrawlers plundering our ocean on a daily basis.
“After transition period we’re still handcuffed to the EU, tariffs, energy, aviation.”
Although the UK will receive an additional 25 percent in quota from EU ships, at the end of 2026, the two sides will hold annual talks to decide catch limits.
While the UK could in theory withdraw access to its waters, the EU could use measures within the deal to end certain tariffs on fishery products, while there is also a wider dispute mechanism which could suspend parts of the deal if either side does not uphold its obligations.
Ms Mummery also referenced the Government’s own figures for 2020, where the UK imported 672,000 tonnes of fish.
Those imports valued £3.2billion, while the UK exported 423,000 tonnes of fish with a value of £1.6billion.
However, imports were down seven percent when compared with 2019.
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In further figures from the Office for National Statistics, the industry contributed 0.03 percent to the economy.
Of that percentage, 61 percent of that was generated in Scotland in 2019.
While these figures remain low, throughout Brexit negotiations, Brexiteers called on the Government to stand up for the industry and reap the rewards of the UK’s rich coastline.
At the back end of 2021, the UK and EU agreed a deal for fish stock for 2022.
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Despite the escalating tensions over Northern Ireland and fishing licences in the Channel Islands, Jože Podgoršek, Slovenia’s agriculture minister, whose country held the EU Presidency at the time, welcomed the agreement.
He said: “Thanks to goodwill and a constructive approach on both sides, we were able to reach an agreement that provides certainty for EU fishermen and women going forward.”
Environment Secretary, George Eustice Secretary said: “We have now concluded negotiations with the EU, setting catch levels for 2022.
“As an independent coastal State, we entered discussions representing the interests of the entire UK fishing industry and have secured certainty for the incoming year.
“The balanced agreement made today provides a strong foundation as we seek to deliver more sustainable fisheries management, as set out in our landmark Fisheries Act.”
The UK has clashed with France over the number of fisheries licences handed to ships to fish in the waters around the Channel Islands.
Last month, the Jersey and UK Governments issued further licences to French vessels following a wave of threats from the French government.
France has threatened to use measures within the Brexit deal in order to secure further licences.
As of December 13, over 90 percent of licences were issued to French vessels.
Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune stated he will not consider taking further measures in order to get the remaining licences.
He previously said: “If the British don’t respect the agreement, they won’t be able to access freely to our market in the future.
“Starting on January 4, we will meet with European commissioners to define the procedure and the measures we need to take.”
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