BBC Brexit row: Minister shuts down QT audience claim UK should give into EU on fishing

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The UK is not demanding anything “unreasonable” when it comes to taking back control over fishing rights, according to Conservative minister Michelle Donelan. Ms Donelan, who is Minister of State for Universities, hit back at suggestions on BBC Question Time that it wasn’t worth protecting fisheries at the cost of an EU trade deal. A BBC Question Time audience member, Alex Hunt, asked: “With the EU trade negotiations nearing completion, would the Government still opt to walk away if EU negotiators refuse to concede on fishing?”

Mr Hunt noted that the fishing industry sector is worth less than 0.1 percent of UK GDP.

Ms Donelan hit back: “When we had our Brexit referendum, the key theme was taking back control of our money, our laws, our borders and our waters – and that means fishing rights.

“So I don’t think it’s unreasonable that as an independent sovereign state we want to be able to have that control over our own waters and our fishing rights at all.

“We are not asking for something that is unreasonable from the EU, or something they haven’t given to other nations.

“This is an important thing. There is still the hope we will get the deal.”

She added: “Whether we get a deal or not, we’re going to make a success of this.”

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