UK fishing sector protestThe UK fishing sector is unhappy with the terms of the recent trade deal struck with the EU. Photo: Quentin Bates

The NFFO (National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations) has urged UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to concede that he has failed to strike a Brexit deal with the EU that gives the UK fishing sector independence.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, the NFFO said that the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement has not served to enable the UK fishing industry to “break free of an asymmetric and fundamentally exploitative relationship with the EU”.

The NFFO said Mr Johnson “tried to present the Christmas eve Agreement as a major success when it is patently clear that it is not”.

Quotas not fair

Comparing the UK’s deal with the EU’s fisheries relationship with Norway shows its inadequacies, said the NFFO.

“Quota shares do not reflect anything like the resources within our EEZ, and access will not be through annual negotiation but will continue to be an automatic right for the EU fleets, even to within 6 miles of our coastline,” the organisation pointed out.

Mr Johnson’s focus on when the 5 and a-half-years adjustment period expires is not helpful, suggested the NFFO, adding that the EU could keep the UK tied into a CFP-type arrangement on quota shares and access.

“Depressingly, we will remain tied into a neo-colonial relationship with the EU on fish, despite our rights under international law, for long into the future,” the NFFO added.

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