A concession that the North East’s fishermen would gain in the event of a no-deal Brexit, made by an EU Commissioner, has been welcomed by a local MEP.
Speaking to the EU Budget Committee in response to questions from Jonathan Arnott and others, Commissioner Oettinger said: “Fishermen from France, Ireland, Germany, Denmark fish in UK waters because we have a Single Market.
“This right would fall the day after an exit and that is why it is important if we want to maintain fishermen’s’ rights after a [no-deal] Brexit, if the Brits agree to that, then we would have to give ground on something else as well. There would have to be a quid-pro-quo.”
The news was welcomed by Mr Arnott, a North East Independent MEP, who said: “This is great news for the North East’s hard-working fishermen.
“Whilst I’ve always wanted the UK to negotiate a decent, fair deal with the European Union for Brexit, sadly at present there is no reasonable deal on the table.
“The Commissioner just agreed that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the European Union would lose access to fishing in British waters. He accepted that this would be a bigger blow to the EU than to the UK, and that the EU would have to offer something in return if it wanted to continue any access to British waters.
“That’s what we’ve been saying for decades – perhaps Remainers will listen now that they’re hearing it from an EU Commissioner.”