Ministers finalise £100m post-Brexit package to revive British fishing fleet so it can land catches normally taken by the French and Dutch
- Ministers are finalising plans for a £100million post-Brexit fishing package
- The scheme was promised last month as the government faced criticism
- Fisherman said it compromised on important issues to finally secure a trade deal
Ministers are finalising plans for a £100million post-Brexit package to revive Britain’s fishing fleet to help land catches normally taken by France and the Netherlands.
The scheme was promised last month as the government faced criticism by fisherman that it had compromised on important issues to finally secure a trade deal with the EU.
It is thought that under the plans, British crews will be able to expand their fleet within a five-and-a-half year transition window to catch species that were traditionally only sought by French and Dutch teams, The Times reports.
The processing industry will also be expanded to make sure there is enough capacity to land the additional fish, reports say.
Ministers are finalising plans for a £100million post-Brexit package to revive Britain’s fishing fleet to help land catches normally taken by France and the Netherlands. Pictured: Fishing boats at the fishing port at Bridlington Harbour in Yorkshire
This map shows the extent of the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone – the waters Britain controls after Brexit
A government source said Chancellor Rishi Sunak had discussed the plans with Boris Johnson before the Brexit deal had been agreed.
The source said: ‘We took the view that the fishing fleet needed to be rebuilt to take advantage of the new access… We needed to invest a lot more into it if we were actually going to be able to catch the fish that we will be entitled to.
‘Rishi said, ”Yes we can do that. The Treasury can find the money to help.” ‘
The trade deal struck with Brussels allows the European Union to keep 75 per cent of the value of what it catches in British waters, while 25 per cent must be returned to British fisherman through the transition phase.
Four Naval ships, including HMS Tamar (pictured leaving Portsmouth on New Year’s Eve), were sent into the English Channel to put a stop to illegal fishing on UK fishing grounds hours before the terms of the new Brexit trade deal came into force
Boats from France and the EU can still fish in British water but over the next five-and-a-half years a quarter of their quota will be handed over to the UK. Pictured: HMS Tamar leaving Portsmouth on New Year’s Eve
Britain will be able to cut quotas or exclude boats in a 6-12 nautical mile zone from summer 2026.
The news comes as the Royal Navy sent four warships into the English Channel to warn French trawlers to stay away from British fish amid the Brexit deal coming into force.
Hours before the deal took effect on New Year’s Day the boats, armed with cannons and machine guns, left Portsmouth to put a stop to any illegal fishing in UK fishing grounds.
The £100million ship HMS Trent led the mission, flanked by HMS Tamar, HMS Tyne and HMS Mersey – all of which have been assigned to protect the new fishing rights agreed in the trade deal.