Progress in EU-UK fishing dispute

“This decision is an important step in a long process towards full implementation of the trade agreement,” the European Commission said in a statement. A total of 83 extra permits have now been issued, something that was preceded by months of discussion.

The fishing industry is the biggest pain point of the Brexit trade deal, next to the Northern Ireland border issue, which is also still under negotiation.

catch quota

Under the agreement, European fishermen will have access to British waters for another five years. But the catch quotas are going down. They are allowed to catch a quarter less fish than before. In our country, fishermen from Urk, Zeeland, Katwijk and Texel in particular suffer from this.

They catch a lot of herring, mackerel, turbot and sole in British waters. That alone costs the Netherlands millions. The Dutch account will increase from 23 million euros in 2021 to 38 million euros from 2026.


British Prime Minister Johnson first wanted to completely remove EU fishermen’s right to fish in British waters. Fishermen from outside the UK would then have to apply for a fishing license and comply with UK regulations.

In total, some 1.6 billion euros in fishing rights will be transferred to the United Kingdom for the entire European Union. It will be renegotiated in five years.

Now that additional permits have been issued on Saturday, the conflict is not over yet. The British government said in a statement that the difficult part of the negotiations is over for now, the EU states that several ships are not yet licensed and that talks will continue on Monday.

The quarrel has grown considerably between France and the United Kingdom. The French stated earlier this week that 104 vessels do not yet have a license to fish in British waters. French fishermen blocked a checkpoint in April where British trucks carrying fish were checked en route to Calais and Dunkirk.

And in May, France threatened to cut power to the British island of Jersey, prompting the British to send naval vessels to the island. The French government then sent two patrol ships to Jersey. Ports were also blocked in November.

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