Date set for UK to finally regain fishing rights over EU in fresh Brexit victory

Andrew Bowie hits out at SNP for ‘point scoring’ over fisheries

In a big step forward in the EU-UK post-Brexit fishing dispute, both sides have started a six-year transition period to redefine who can fish where.

This period will continue until June 2026 and bring some important changes for fishermen.

Known as the “adjustment period,” this extended transition period is slated to continue until June 2026, ushering in significant changes that will reverberate throughout the fishing industry on both sides of the English Channel.

The adjustment period seeks to address several critical aspects of the fishing dispute.

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Among the notable provisions, EU vessels that have traditionally operated within the six to 12-nautical-mile range from UK shores in specific regions during the reference period of 2012 to 2016 will retain their access to these areas.

In a reciprocal arrangement, UK vessels will enjoy the same privileges within EU waters. The goal here is to facilitate a smooth transition and maintain industry stability.

Equally significant is the provision allowing EU vessels that consistently fished non-quota species within the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone, which stretches up to 200 nautical miles from the UK coast, during the same reference period, to continue their operations. This provision extends to UK vessels operating in EU waters, ensuring the continuity of fishermen who rely on these non-quota species.

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A big part of this deal is that the EU will give 25 percent of its fishing rights in UK waters to the UK over time. By June 2026, the UK will control about two-thirds of the fish stocks in its waters. However, this might only bring a small increase in the amount of fish some big boats can catch, especially in places like Cornwall.

This significant shift in fishing rights reflects the ongoing efforts to redefine the relationship between the EU and the UK in the post-Brexit era, with a particular focus on the fishing sector.

It represents a compromise that aims to strike a balance between the interests of both parties while ensuring the sustainable management of fisheries resources.

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