Brexit LIVE: Boris offered simple fishing solution that would ‘not cost taxpayers a penny’

Brexit: EU 'used Irish border as bargaining tool' says Jenkins

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The UK officially cut ties with Brussels at the end of last year with the promise to “take back control” of its waters, however fishing rights between Britain and the EU have remained a contentious issue. The UK Fisheries group is now calling on the Prime Minister to save the fishing industry by imposing tariffs to help rake in millions of pounds for the industry. They said the EU and Norway struck a deal last month that gives the EU a quota of 10,000 tonnes of Arctic cod in Norwegian coastal waters for this year.

This means Norway has about 25,000 tonnes of Arctic cod that it could make available to the UK fleet.

UK Fisheries said: “Despite two years of campaigning to save the UK’s distant-waters fishing industry, our state-of-the-art vessel Kirkella is once again tied up in Hull, and we at UK Fisheries still have no access to the Norwegian coastal waters where our crews should be working right now.

“We have provided a clear and simple negotiating roadmap to the government that would, without costing taxpayers a penny, secure us Arctic cod quota in the Norwegian zone, guarantee good jobs for our crew and financial security for their families, and bring with it further investments of up to £100m in the fishing industry in the Humberside region, on top of the £120m our owners have already invested there.

“But despite cross-party support nationally as well as from local politicians in the north-east of England, and despite the simple common sense of the argument that we should make tariff-free access to our markets for the Norwegians conditional on them offering us access to their waters, the Government has somehow yet to take this logical step.

“The UK continues to offer Norway something for nothing, and it is our crews and our industry that are suffering.

“Now we are an independent coastal state the UK must negotiate quotas with third countries that are no less than we would have if we had remained in the EU – anything less is a failure.

“In Norway, this means agreeing at least 16.95k tonnes of Arctic cod out of the 25k tonnes set aside for third countries by Norway in its economic zone. If the Government were ambitious and secured the full 25k tonnes this would create a much-needed expansion of the UK distant waters fleet with new jobs and secure an extra £60-100m of investment in the fleet.”

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8am update: Unshackling from EU lands UK £4billion shot in the arm, new study shows

The new report, published today by the Centre for Business and Economic Research (CEBR), considers the impact quitting the bloc has had so far in the three-and-a-half months since the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020. Specifically, the analysis looks at the impact on exports and import substitutes, the impact of the early vaccine rollout, and the impact of regulatory and other changes.

In his report, author Douglas McWilliams, the CEBR’s executive deputy chairman, stresses it is “still far too early” to reach a “definitive view” on the basis of two months of trade data.

He says: “Because a significant proportion of the impact of the loss of EU exports will be compensated for by the production of import substitutes, we estimate that the initial negative effect on GDP will be a reduction of about 0.5 percent compared with what might have happened otherwise.”

However, he adds: “This does not take account of the impact of faster rollout of vaccines and of new trade and deregulation opportunities that might emerge which could easily more than offset this.

“We estimate that the impact of the earlier rollout of the vaccination programme than would have been possible had the UK been in the EU programme will give the UK economy a one-off boost of about two percent in 2021.”

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