The UK failed to maintain British fishing-rights in Norwegian waters, after taking over negotiations from the EU for the first time in 40 years
The UK exited the European Common Fisheries Policy as it exited the European Union, which led to a freefall of trade deals to be made with individual countries. Bilateral negotiations to establish similar, if not improved, trade deals to what the EU offered are still ongoing.
How important is a fishing deal with Norway?
The UK lands £32 million worth of fish in Norwegian waters, with forty years of discussions about the quantity normally led by the European Commission. In an effort to rebrand as a coastal state, the UK led its own negotiations with the immensely coastal Norway for the first time, in 2021.
However, weeks worth of talks failed to manifest into a functional fishing deal with Norway. This failure comes despite optimistic announcements about the bilateral mood by the UK in September, 2020.
Environment Secretary George Eustice, commented at the time: “I am delighted that a Framework Fisheries Agreement with Norway has been successfully secured.”
UK Fisheries are holding meetings to discuss the future, as they have now lost crucial fishing opportunities. The organisation had planned to invest £100 million in Hull, but the course ahead is now unclear. There are atleast a hundred employees in the region, who are left without work.
The UK Government has so far been unable to secure fishing deals with The Faroes, Greenland and Iceland.
‘It will all be imported from the Norwegians’
CEO Jane Sandell, looks at what this signals about the UK, saying that: “George Eustice owes our crews and the Humberside region an explanation as to why Defra was unable even to maintain the rights we have had to fish in Norwegian waters for decades, never mind land the boasts of a ‘Brexit Bonus’, which has turned to disaster.
“In consequence, there will be no British-caught Arctic cod sold through chippies for our national dish – it will all be imported from the Norwegians, who will continue to sell their fish products to the UK tariff-free while we are excluded from these waters.
“Quite simply, this is a disgrace and a national embarrassment.”
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