The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was grilled over the importance of the British fisheries in the Brexit trade deal despite the sector be worth less than 0.5 percent of the UK economy’s GDP. However, Mr Gove outlined the importance of the issue regarding the broader matter of independent sovereignty for Britain during the Lords’ European Union committee.
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Julia King Baroness Brown of Cambridge asked: “Given that fisheries make up less than 0.5 percent of UK GDP can we really envisage the partnership failing over this issue?”
Mr Gove replied: “What proportion of the Dutch, French, Belgian and Spanish economy is fisheries as well?
“If it is the case that the current size of an industry’s GDP is the determinant factor, then it would be the case that the EU themselves would have taken a more conservative and less ambitious approach.
“The broader point is this is a matter of sovereignty.
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Gove outlined the importance of the British fisheries in the Brexit trade deal
Michel Barnier is the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator
“It is a matter of principle.
“Why would the EU not want to give the UK the same degree of sovereign independent status as it would to the Faroe Islands?
“That is at the heart of it.”
Last week Michel Barnier received a scathing attack from a Jeremy Vine caller regarding his plot to “cherry-pick” the British fishing sector during Brexit negotiations.
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The furious caller, introduced as Michael from Kent, slammed the European Commission’s Chief Brexit negotiator for his Brexit demands during an interview with Jeremy Vine.
Michael said: “We certainly shouldn’t delay Brexit.
“The Government will not be held responsible when you hear the likes of Michel Barnier saying that Britain has to agree fisheries terms before the EU will discuss trade deals.
“The fisheries are part of the trade deal so if they are going to drag their feet then we went reach a deal by the end of the year and quite right we will have to go WTO.
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“If they want us to agree fisheries terms straight away in return they should give us access to financial services and anything else Britain wants.”
He continued: “It is a simple question.
“If Barnier and his team, who have got to come to the table with a grown-up attitude, if they aren’t prepared to accept Britain wanting to negotiate the full terms then in return for the fisheries they should give the UK the right to state what they want.
“It was the EU that said Britain can’t cherry-pick.
“Here is Barnier cherry-picking the fisheries and telling Britain agree to that or we won’t talk.”