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Boris SHOULD deploy Royal Navy to protect UK fishing waters in no-deal Brexit – poll

3 min read

Brexit: Naval intervention over fishing backed by Lord West

Readers voted in our poll on whether the Prime Minister should deploy the Royal Navy to patrol British fishing waters if there is no deal when the transition period ends on December 31. A huge 97 percent of readers said yes, with just three percent disagreeing.

Commenting on the poll, one reader fumed: “Of course, what is the point of having a navy to defend our fishing grounds, if the French are going to ignore the fact that we have told them NO fishing in our water.

“And them reckoning they will carry on. It is a no brainer, sorry.”

Another insisted: “Yes and show we will not give in to any demands by France or the EU.”

A third commented: “Yes! Assert Britain’s ownership of its coastal waters especially to those who wants a share without obligations.”

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Another wrote: “Of course we should, they are our territorial waters.”

One more added: “Most definitely because they’ll plunder our waters until there’s nothing left.”

Our poll comes as four Royal Navy boats are on standby to patrol UK fishing waters in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The 80-metre vessels would guard British waters from EU trawlers if there is no new agreement on fishing rights by December 31.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said the deployment of the boats had been agreed as part of planning for the end of the transition period.

The spokesman said: “The MoD has conducted extensive planning and preparation to ensure that defence is ready for a range of scenarios at the end of the transition period.

“This preparation includes a standby package of 14,000 personnel to ensure that we are ready to support other Government departments and authorities over the winter period, including with the EU transition, Covid-19 and potential severe weather events.”

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Fishing has been one of the most contentious issues in trade talks between Britain and Brussels – and it remains an outstanding sticking point.

French President Emmanuel Macron has taken a hard line over the issue.

Reciprocal access to each other’s waters will end next year but the two sides are at odds over what will replace the current terms, which UK fishermen say has decimated the industry.

As an independent coastal state from January, Britain will have the right to decide who fishes within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for fishing, which extends for up to 200 miles.

But senior Conservatives have hit out at Mr Johnson’s threat to deploy the Royal Navy.

Tobias Ellwood, Tory chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think these headlines are absolutely irresponsible. We need to be focusing on what is already in the bag – 98 percent of the deal is there, there are three or four outstanding issues.

“Important though they are, let’s park those for the future. Let’s get this deal because economically, but most importantly, international reputationally this would be so damaging to Britain – it would be a retrograde step, a failure of statecraft.”

And former Tory chairman Lord Patten accused the Prime Minister of behaving like an “English nationalist”.

Chief negotiators Michel Barnier and Lord Frost are continuing talks in Brussels in a bid to reach a breakthrough.

Mr Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have agreed to make a decision on the future of the negotiations by the end of the weekend.

A Government source tonight said the terms offered by the EU on a trade deal continue to be “unacceptable” to the UK. polled 14,863 people on December 12.

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