Fisheries protection

The Royal Navy should be strengthened to help protect British fishing waters from the "armada" of EU trawlers post-Brexit, ministers have been told.

Conservative MP Philip Hollobone said supporters of remain and leave were united in the need for the UK to leave the Common Fisheries Policy, which he labelled the "very worst aspect" of EU membership. 

Brexit minister Steve Baker said surveillance will be boosted to ensure UK waters can be patrolled and regulations enforced.

When referring to the UK leaving the EU, Mr Hollobone told the Commons: "On that day the armada of EU trawlers that have been plundering Britain's historic fishing grounds since 1973 are not going to be happy their best years are behind them."

"Will he ensure that the Royal Navy has the resources it needs to protect our sovereign waters and ensure the rebirth and renaissance of the British fishing industry?"

Mr Baker replied: "You make a serious point with your usual force."

"What I would say is we do hope to reach an agreement in our mutual interest. But as the Prime Minister has made clear in her Mansion House speech, we are leaving the Common Fisheries Policy."

"The UK will regain control over our domestic fisheries management rules and access to our waters."

"In relation to enforcement, we will strengthen our surveillance capability and make sure that the appropriate capacity is in place to patrol our waters and enforce regulations as required", he added.

Brexit Secretary David Davis was earlier also drawn on the UK's fishing rules after Brexit, with Tory Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick-upon-Tweed) expressing her disappointment at the "aggressive" line taken by the EU.

Mr Davis replied: "The simple truth is that when we leave the European Union, we will be an independent coastal state. As a result, we will control our own waters."

"There will of course, as was said in Defra questions last week, be continuing negotiations with neighbouring states - because fish move - about catch and quotas and all the rest of it.

"But we will control our own destiny."

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