Brexit trade deal talks have struggled to deal with the issue of fishing access for EU boats in UK waters. Regardless of whether the UK and EU agree on a fishing trade deal, clashes between fishermen could still occur due to a conflict of desires. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Queen Mary’s School of Business and Management professor Liam Campling highlighted the many problems in resolving the EU-UK fishing issue.
Professor Campling said: “The reason why fishing is a huge sticking point in the Brexit trade talks is because the EU, from its perspective, cannot give up on long-term access rights.
“At the same time the UK, quite rightly, is saying the exclusive economic zone is our sovereign right.”
Professor Campling went into details as to why these two viewpoints have and would continue to cause issues.
He said: “The two sides, two positions, are incompatible and there will be an inevitable conflict over this issue.
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“This is precisely because the law of the sea is so ambiguous around this.
“The long-term customary access rights that the Danish, French and others have had over fish populations in what might become British waters existed before the law of the sea.
“Because they existed before the law of the sea there is a kind of trigger in the law of the sea that allows you to negotiate those long-term access rights.
“Overall, you have a quite complicated un-retractable position there.”
Brexit news: Professor Campling also praised the EU for their stern attitude and ensuring they have many experts on hands to help in the negotiations on fisheries.
In addition to this, Professor Campling noted the British Government would still have to find a way to advance the needs of small British fishermen rather than just big businesses.
He said: “How is the UK going to advance the interests of British fishers based in Britain when the UK is going to demand that they have continued market access, tariff-free access to the EU markets of fish.
“This is the UK’s biggest market for British fishers alongside the UK itself.”
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Brexit news: Professor Campling noted the British Government would still have to find a way to advance the needs of small British fishermen rather than just big businesses.
Professor Campling also praised the EU for their stern attitude and ensuring they have many experts on hands to help in the negotiations on fisheries.
He said: “The EU has got a very joined-up approach so their various Commissions and specialists and experts will be working very closely on this.”
While speaking on TalkEurope he added: “I expect there will be significant diplomatic incidents around fishing in the medium to longterm.
“If the Europeans and British can’t reach some kind of agreement on this then French fishermen will just go and fish anyway.”