Lithuania’s European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius is calling for the UK to follow the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy. This is despite leaving the bloc last month. By leaving the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) at the end of the transition period, the automatic rights for EU vessels to fish in British waters will stop for the first time since 1973.

But Mr Sinkevičius told French MPs yesterday: “Access to British waters is crucial.”

The UK and EU have until the end of the year to find an agreement on trade.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that if no such agreement is made, he will not extend the transition period any longer.

Peers have also been told that foreign fishing boats will be barred from fishing in UK waters unless licensed to do so.

But details on access have still to be thrashed out during negotiations with the EU before the end of the transition period in December.

Environment minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble said: “The Government’s vision is to build a sustainable fishing industry, with healthy seas and a fair deal for UK fishing interests.”

Opening a second reading debate on the Fisheries Bill on Wednesday, Lord Gardiner said the legislation was a key step in delivering that vision.

He said: “Any decision about giving vessels from the EU and other coastal states access to our waters will be a matter for negotiation.

“This Bill provides the framework to enable us to implement whatever is agreed internationally.

READ MORE: UK fishing waters exploited: Dutch trawler’s huge catch taken to EU

Former diplomat and independent crossbencher Lord Hannay of Chiswick said the “detailed shape of Britain’s new post-Brexit fisheries policy remains as shrouded in mystery as ever”.

Lord Hannay called for ministers to be realistic in negotiations with the EU, rather than relying on “slogans and mantras”, and warned against linking fishing to other sectors in the talks.

Alan Hastings of Fishing for Leave warned UK fishermen need to be clear about the rules.

He told Express.co.uk: “If the Government wants to genuinely take back control of a £6-8 billion industry, to level up regions and do so through rejuvenating coastal communities after decades of EU policies designed to facilitate the asset stripping of Britain.

“The Government must revise the Fisheries Bill to legislate that in future foreign-flagged boats should only be granted access post-Brexit on a strictly annual basis and only if the UK receives a reciprocal value of fishing opportunities for in EU waters.

“Any and all of the limited number of EU vessels licensed to access British waters for the year should have it as a requirement of that licence that all their catch is landed, sold and processed in Britain.

“This is so British ports and communities see benefit from this catch of our national resource and, most importantly, to ensure compliance with our conservation measures.

“To avoid the whole EU fleet trying to re-register in Britain the government must reinstate Mrs Thatchers Economic link to ensure that British vessels are majority British owned, crewed and land, sell and process the majority of their catches on Britain to see genuine economic benefit delivered.

“Otherwise the continual shameful haemorrhaging of the wealth of our greatest natural resource being taken back to the continent in boats or lorries will go on to the sore cost of our coastal communities.”

source: express.co.uk

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