The government doubts that Britain will be able to control fishing in its 200-mile EEZ when we become an independent coastal state after Brexit, reports Tim Oliver
This was made clear in a memo from DEFRA, sent by mistake to the BBC, that says that there are just 12 ships ‘to monitor a space three times the size of the surface area of the UK’.
The note says, “While our public position on this wider issue is already clear and widely communicated, in that post-Brexit we will be an independent coastal state with control of our waters, both policy [officials] and MoD [Ministry of Defence] have indicated we are not on an overly strong footing to get ahead of the potential claims that could arise from this story.
“At this stage, there is a lot of uncertainty about the sufficiency of enforcement in a no-deal because we have 12 vessels that need to monitor a space three times the size of the surface area of the UK.”
Brexit campaign group Fishing for Leave (FFL) slammed the government’s ‘defeatist’ assessment of the enforcement position.
The internal DEFRA email referred to a number of media stories, including one being worked on by a freelance journalist for the Independent, that planned to look at the preparation being made to deter EU fishermen from UK waters in the event of a no-deal Brexit, and also whether the UK will enforce the exclusion of foreign vessels (read more) source – https://fishingnews.co.uk/news/uk-cant-protect-eez-we-cant-protect-our-waters-after-brexit/