Scottish fishermen lash out at EU plan for UK waters

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The fishing industry has lashed out at proposals from Brussels for European fleets to keep unrestricted access to British waters after Brexit.

Industry leaders said the plans, contained in draft EU guidelines for the next phase of talks, were “arrogant, absurd and nonsensical”.

A general view of Peterhead fishing harbour. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

A general view of Peterhead fishing harbour. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The document sets out the EU’s position that “existing reciprocal access to fishing waters and resources should be maintained”, meaning the UK would not have control over how much fish vessels from Europe could take out of the seas around the UK.

Bertie Armstrong, the chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “This latest gambit must be rejected. When we leave the EU we leave the Common Fisheries Policy and assume our rightful place at the table as a coastal state.

“Each year we will then decide who catches what, where and when.”

David Duguid, the Scottish Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan, called on the UK government to “strongly defend our fishermen and coastal communities” in negotiations.