Canvassing in the south-west of England, UK fisheries minister George Eustice has said that if Britain votes to leave the EU, fishermen will get a better deal, but warned that there will be no free-for-all.
He told the Western Morning News that British fishermen in the Channel and the Celtic Sea do not get a fair allocation of quotas, with French fishing vessels getting a greater share of plaice plus three to four times the amount of haddock.
He stated that a Britain free of the EU would be free to reinstate 200 mile limits and have a starting point to negotiate with the EU.
‘If we take back national control we would be able to get a fairer allocation of the international quota and hopefully agree mutual access to waters on a fairer basis than we have at the moment,’ the Western Morning News quoted him as saying.
A spokesman for the Stronger In campaign commented that George Eustice is not in a position to make such claims, adding that the idea of taking control is laughable as the Royal Navy is no longer able to monitor an area of that size.
‘In 2010 there were 1415 ‘at sea inspections’ of foreign fishing vessels in British waters, but by 2013 there were just 632 – leaving many fishermen to complain that foreign vessels are not inspected enough already,’ James McGrory said.