No French or Spanish boats in our waters! Michael Gove to ban foreign fishing post Brexit – Express.co.uk
That area will then extend to up to 200 miles as Brexit is achieved.
Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, Mr Gove said the UK would “have control” and would later negotiate with foreign countries over whether they could have permission.
Picking up a copy of the Sunday Express, Andrew Marr asked the Tory politican: “Is this headline true? The headline says ‘No foreign fishing in our waters’.
“Is it going to be completely banned once we leave the London convention?”
Mr Gove confirmed the front page headline was correct.
“Fishing in the immediate area around our waters, six to 12 miles, yes we will be saying that we’re taking back control,” he said.
Marr then chipped in: “No French, no Spanish boats at all in those waters?”
The staunch Brexiteer added it would be up to the UK to decide who to allow in.
Michael Gove said: “We will have control, we can decide the terms of access and then we will also be able, when we leave the European Union we’ll become an independent coastal state.
“That means that we can then extend control of our waters up to 200 miles or the median line between Britain and France or Britain and Ireland.
“That means we then decide. Of course, we can then negotiate with other countries, allow them access.
“What it is, is our deciding on which basis we allow people in.”
British fishermen will have the exclusive rights to a 12-mile zone around the coastline under post-Brexit plans to “take back control of our fishing policy”.
Five EU nations, including France and the Netherlands, which currently have permission to fish up to six miles from our shores, will be banned from fishing the area.
However, the Government will announce on Monday that it is withdrawing from the London Fisheries Convention.
This will mean the five countries will be banned from fishing within 12 miles of the coast.
Signed in 1964 before the UK joined the European Union, the London Fisheries Convention allows vessels from five European countries to fish within six and 12 nautical miles of the UK’s coastline.
An estimated 10,000 tons of fish, including mackerel and herring, was caught by fishing vessels from Convention countries France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands in 2015 within 12 nautical miles of the British coast – worth an estimated £17million.
The agreement sits alongside the EU Common Fisheries Policy, which allows all European vessels access between 12 and 200 nautical miles of the UK and sets quotas for how much fish each nation can catch.
It had already been announced that Britain will no longer be bound by the CFP post-Brexit, but without action, restrictions under the historic London Fisheries Convention would have still applied.
On Monday, the UK will notify the other Member States signed up to the Convention, triggering a two-year withdrawal period.
As announced in the Queen’s Speech, the Government will introduce a Fisheries Bill to control access to the UK’s waters and set fishing quotas once we have left the EU.
Britain’s new fishing policy will “allow the fishing industry and coastal communities to thrive, in line with our international obligations, as we build a deep and special partnership with the European Union after Brexit,” said a Defra statement.