UK in "better position" on fish - minister

UK fishing is now in a "better position"

That was according to cabinet office minister Michael Gove on Monday (Dec 28):

"Now we have a chance to turn the corner. At the moment in the EU we only get to fish about half of the fish in our waters. Under this deal we will be increasing the amount that we get, increasing it to about two thirds of the fish in our waters in a few years time. And then after that, we'll be able to go even further."

The United Kingdom will leave the EU's Common Fisheries Policy on December 31st.

But under the trade deal agreed on Christmas Eve the current rules will remain largely in place during a 5-1/2-year transition period.

"Could it have been better? Would I have wanted that shorter period? Yes, absolutely. But we managed to get the EU down from that 14 year transition period they wanted to five and a half. We also managed to make sure that we have a significant uplift in the amount that we can catch next year and in the years that follow."

The British government said the trade deal reflected the United Kingdom's new position as a sovereign independent coastal state.

But on Saturday (Dec 26) British fishermen said Prime Minister Boris Johnson had sold out fish stocks to the European Union.

With a deal that still gives EU boats significant access to the UK's rich fishing waters.

Some British politicians also said the deal added up to a sell-out.

Fishing contributed just 0.03% of British economic output in 2019.

But many Brexit supporters see it as a symbol of the regained sovereignty they say leaving the EU brings.