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President of the National Federation of Fishermen in Spain, Jose Basilio Otero, argued the EU and the UK should have already come to an agreement on fishing in the Brexit trade talks. While speaking to Sky News, Mr Otero voiced his frustrations on the lack of progress regarding Spain’s rights to fish in British waters post 2020. He claimed he and his fishermen would pressure the Spanish Government to block any trade deal if they were not granted access to the UK’s waters.
The Sky News host said: “In Spain, one of the biggest fishing unions told me it would press the Government to block any deal that cut access to British waters.”
Mr Otero said: “We needed an agreement on October 1 to outline the new situation beginning on January 1.
“But at the moment there is nothing, so concern is at a maximum level.
“If there is no agreement, we will ask the Government to veto the deal.”
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Fishermen in France have also voiced their concerns surrounding the confusion regarding fishing rights.
While speaking to Sky News Mr Gaetan Delsart said: “Us small boats, we fish crabs, whelks and they are species found in British waters.
“So it is simply going to be catastrophic for us because we’ve all had to put ourselves in French waters but not just us.
“We all have to come back here, to the French side, to cohabit with the Belgians, the Dutch.
“The sanctions will be so big and dangerous that we’re not going to be abe to take the risk of losing our boats by going into British waters.
“Or we could face enormous fines by forcing our way into British waters if we are not allowed.
“If we decide to do that and all co-habit, we will be dead in a year.”
Other fishermen have insisted the pressure they put on their Government should result in them not allowing other nations to fish in their waters post-Brexit.
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Fisherman Laurent Merlin said: “There is no fish left for us in French waters.
“Sole has completely disappeared already, the small amount that is left is in British waters.
We’re going to demand that Belgian fishermen stay in Belgian waters and the Dutch fishermen stay in Duch waters.
“Because if they all come to French waters, already there’s nothing left for us to fish, it will be catastrophic for us.”
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