Claims sometimes appear on social media that “the EU won’t let UK fishers catch fish in UK waters”. The true story is only slightly longer:
- Each EU country was given a quota of fish of different fish species that can be caught & landed. This is to make sure there are some fish left for our grandchildren.
- The quotas are a commodity that can be traded.
- The UK government sold UK quotas to UK fishers.
- Some of these fishers sold the quotas on for a profit.
- Some of the people buying the UK quotas were citizens of other EU countries.
- The UK government is the only one in the EU to allow quotas to be sold to other EU countries.
So the problem with UK fishers not being able to catch fish in EU waters has been caused by the UK government allowing quotas to be sold outside the UK. An example of the EU being blamed for a problem caused by the UK’s government.
It should be noted that the quotas are subject to international property law, and so post Brexit, the UK government could not deny the owners of those quotas access to UK waters.