Brexit has been hailed across fishing communities as a “golden opportunity” to re-energise British fishermen thanks to the expiration of the controversial Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Brexiteer June Mummery, who has long been argued for Britain’s independence from the European Union’s regulation on fisheries, suggested coastal communities could benefit from an “immediate” boost thanks to a key law. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ms Mummery said: “People often tell me, ‘June, how are we going to rebuild this?’
“There is a law, actually, that says if we don’t catch the fish then other nations can. I get that.
“The first thing I would do, if I were at the negotiating table, is probably allow some EU vessels to fish, sustainably, but they have to land their catch in the UK.”
Ms Mummery argued the top-notch processing plants in coastal town could then be used by EU fishermen to have their catch prepared for sale rather than have the trawlers rely on national processors.
She continued: “We’ve still got the processing plants. I’ve been all around the country and the coastal communities have been starved.
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June Mummery suggested the UK would be able to
“They are starved, they are deprived and they need regenerating – fishing is a golden opportunity to get people back to work. The most deprived area, I probably would say, is Fleetwood.
“That really got me but one thing Fleetwood has is a lot of processing. The EU are fishing in our waters and taking our fish from our waters and we are buying it back.
“We would allow the EU, saying, ‘you can come in our waters, sustainably, but you have to land your catch here’.”
Ms Mummery, a member of the Fisheries Committee in the European Parliament, also urged the Government into looking into helping fishermen with cash handouts to helpt them set-up operations.
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She added: “That catch would then go in the processing side of things – it would kickstart the processing immediately, and I mean immediately.”
“Money would then start to come in and our government would have to look into doing as we do with housing and lend to buy to lend money to fishermen.
“I can see an immediate impact.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeatedly said Brexit would give British fishermen the chance to gain back full control of their waters.
But according to sources in Brussels, one of the first requests the EU will make is demand the UK allows access to its fishing waters to EU trawlermen as part of any future trade deal.
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France’s Emmanuel Macron will reportedly maintain his hardline approach to Brexit by championing the bloc’s fisheries demands.
Sources close to the French President claimed he could even block any future deal unless his requests are met for access to British waters.
And EU member states could have yet another ace up their sleeve as reports of an ancient treaty that could make a mockery of the UK’s efforts to take back control of its seas re-emerged in December.
According to a 2017 Telegraph report, Flemish politicians are in possession of a 350-year-old royal charter, which grants “eternal rights” to Belgian trawlermen to fish in British waters, even after Brexit.
King Charles II signed the “privilege” on October 2, 1666.
Charles signed the treaty to express his gratitude for being granted refuge in Bruges during the Interregnum, having been driven from Britain in 1651 by Oliver Cromwell.