Britain wants to be responsible for managing its territorial waters out to 12 nautical miles from shore following its momentous departure from the bloc. But as the clock continues to tick, EU officials have asked for access to waters six miles to 12 miles from Britain’s coast.
Bloomberg reports: “The EU is also asking to include access to waters six miles to 12 miles from Britain’s coast in the agreement.
“And a landing zone has yet to be identified on quotas and how to divide up the more than 100 species that are caught in Britain’s waters.”
This is despite the UK’s bid to manage its seas out to 200 nautical miles in a so-called exclusive economic zone, or out to a median line between the British coast and the costs of other states.
Britain has vowed it will become an “independent coastal nation” after the transition period ends, enabling it to control its own waters, and who fishes in them, and to increase the British catch.
Fishing contributed just 0.03 percent of British economic output in 2019, but many Brexit supporters see it as a symbol of the regained sovereignty and ay fishing grounds in British waters should be primarily for British fishing crews.
Combined with fish and shellfish processing, the sector makes up 0.1 percent of Britain’s GDP.
READ MORE: Brexit LIVE: Boris ‘sadly mistaken’ if he thinks he can ‘betray fishermen’
The UK unshackled itself from the Union in January but both sides are still trying to clinch a deal that would govern nearly 1 trillion dollars in annual trade before transitional arrangements end on December 31.
But three key issues remain to unlock a deal: respectful enforcement mechanisms, guarantees of fair competition, and stable access to markets including fishing.
Officials on both sides have said there has been some progress on technical aspects of the talks on fisheries, including on quota sharing and a list of stocks, but London says the EU has not accepted that Britain will become an independent coastal state.
Under one proposal described by the EU sources, the sides could agree to a “phasing-out mechanism” for fish quotas that would increase Britain’s share in time, rather than overnight from January 1, 2021.
Under the second idea, EU vessels around the Channel Islands including Jersey and Guernsey could be exempted from restrictions that would be tighter than those now in place on fishing in British waters up to 12 nautical miles from shore.