Philip Hammond Plans To ‘Give Away’ UK Fishing Rights To Secure Trade Deal

Philip Hammond is once again at the centre of controversy around the Brexit negotiations, after it emerged that he told the cabinet that he wants to use the UK’s fishing rights as a ‘negotiating pawn’ to help secure a new British trade deal.

The news provoked an angry reaction from former UKIP Leader Nigel Farage, who today tweeted:

‘Hammond is a disgrace. We voted to take our waters back, simple as’.

The UK will take back full control over who can fish in thousands of miles of its territorial waters on our EU exit in March 2019.

During the cabinet discussion, Mr Hammond said the government should pool the new power with the EU as a powerful card in exchange for big concessions on a trade deal with Brussels.

But the government’s farming and fishing boss Mr Gove is adamant that Britain must retain full control of who get permits to fish in UK waters, as it was a totemic issue for Brexit voters in the referendum campaign last year.

Allies of Mr Gove also say he holds deep personal feelings about fishing rights, as the adopted son of an Aberdeen fish merchant who was driven out of business by EU Common Fisheries Policy quotas. A Cabinet source said:

‘Philip and Michael had quite an exchange on what to do with fishing rights already.

‘Michael was adamant that giving them away again would be a terrible betrayal of the coastal communities who all voted for Brexit.

‘This will be one of the major Brexit division lines in Cabinet in the Autumn as we begin trade talks.’

A second Whitehall source confirmed:

‘There was a discussion in the Cabinet Brexit committee. There were different emphases on what to do with fishing in the negotiations.

‘The Treasury and DEFRA have different priorities, but we are not at war quite yet.’

Territorial waters extend to either 200 miles offshore or the median line between a neighbouring country.

Getting an agreement to open British waters to French, Dutch, Spanish and German trawlers is a major priority for their governments.

Germany boss Angela Merkel pledged to protect her fishermen’s access to Britain’s North Sea waters during an election campaign visit only last week.

Mrs Merkel told a rally in the port city of Cuxhaven: “I can tell those involved in fisheries: we will push for fair conditions for the deep-sea fishers”.

And France’s fishing minister Stephane Travert recently warned that there would be no deal with the UK without good fishing access ageed.

The fishing rights dilemma is the latest in a series of Cabinet clashes over Brexit as the government map out Brexit in detail.

Other ongoing disputes customs union access, immigration levels the length of a transition deal are hampering Britain’s negotiating hands, other ministers fear.

Westmonster Dave is the News Editor of Kipper Central.

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1 Response

  1. John Wright says:

    All BRexiteers know Hammond is the fly in the ointment, so his unsolicited comments regarding our fishing waters being used as a tool to get a trade deal with the EU smacks of insanity! Why do we need a trade deal with them, since surely, it is they who need a trade deal with us. After all, we import goods from many EU Countries but overall, we import £60billion more from them than we export to them? If the EU wants a status quo, then perhaps we should decrease our imports by £60billion in order to level the playing field! Perhaps a really good place to start would be through our fishing Industry, who will happily sell our spare fish catch to the EU for a price similar to that which they sell us “our” fish back to us for a huge markup? This seems to me a most equitable arrangement, although our Continental Cousins mightn’t agree! The point is, what is all this nonsense regarding Trade Deals? We always traded very successfully with what is now the EU & this ought to simply carry on without stupid, time wasting talks that seem always to fail because of the pedantic behaviour of the EU negotiators.

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