Boris Johnson has sent a strong signal to French President Emmanuel Macron who at the last minutes of the post Brexit talks increased the demand of the EU on the fishery as Environment Secretary George Eustice announced the capacity of the Royal Navy fisheries protection fleet has been increased to guard British waters.
Eustice said the increase will “stop EU boats coming in to fish” in the event that an agreement is not reached with the EU while telling LBC host Tom Swarbrick that the UK have “fisheries protection fleet as part of the Royal Navy”.
Mr Eustice in response to a question on the UK’s “plan to fend off EU fishing fleets in case of a no-deal, he said, “We have a fisheries protection fleet as part of the Royal Navy – the oldest part of it. We also have a control centre in Newcastle that monitors every fishing vessel that is in our waters.”
Mr Swarbrick, however, asked, “Have they been boosted? Have they got more numbers and extra staff in case of a no-deal?”
Mr Eustice responded, “Yes, we have taken on two additional vessels to supplement the work that the Royal Navy do to increase capacity. It’s also the case the Navy has just put forward three new offshore patrol vessels and have decided not to decommission the old ones at this point so there is some reserve capacity to draw on”.
Mr Swarbrick asked further, “So, the Navy patrols the waters to stop the boats coming in to fish if we go to no deal?”
Mr Eustice replied, “That’s always been the case. Supplemented of course by the private contractors that we have. It is the role of the marine management organisation to police our fisheries – something they have done for many years – and support the Royal Navy.
“With the support of others like the in-shore fisheries and conservation agencies that have vessels at their disposal”.
Mr Eustice earlier today blamed the EU for throwing the talks into chaos after introducing “a whole load of additional demands” late in the negotiations this week.