What happens to UK fishing waters after Brexit? Britain to TAKE BACK control of waters – Express.co.uk
Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who was a leading Brexit campaigner, said that leaving the convention was “an important movement as we take back control of our fishing policy”.
He said: “It means for the first time in more than 50 years we will be able to decide who can access our waters.
“This is a historic first step towards building a new domestic fishing policy as we leave the European Union – one that leads to a more sustainable industry for the whole of the UK.”
Fishing vessels from the five EU countries caught an estimated 10,000 tonnes of mackerel, herring and other fish, between six and 12 nautical miles from the UK in 2015.
In response to leaving the Convention, Nigel Farage tweeted: “When are we taking back control of our waters up the to 200 mile line? 12 miles simply not good enough.”
After Brexit, the Britain will also leave the EU Common Fisheries Police (CFP) which allows European ships to come between 12 and 200 nautical miles of the UK.
Mr Gove, the former Education and Justice Secretary who thwarted Boris Johnson’s leadership bid, has claimed that the CFP “destroyed” his father Ernest’s fish processing firm on Aberdeen.
“He was, along with thousands of others, someone who had suffered directly as a result of our membership of the EU and this was a chance to put this right,” he told the Sunday Times.
On Monday the UK will trigger a two-year withdrawal period from the London Fisheries Convention – in the same way to the Article 50 letter which began a two-year exit from the EU.
The London Fisheries Convention was signed in 1964 before the UK joined the European Union, then known as the European Communities or the Common Market, in 1975.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said: “When we leave the EU, we will no longer be bound by the Common Fisheries Policy but without action, restrictions under the historic London Fisheries Convention would still apply.
“By withdrawing from the London Fisheries Convention we will no longer be bound by the existing access agreements.”
It added: “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.”