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Theresa May offers assurances on fishing with common access to UK waters after Brexit

Theresa May has given an “absolute” commitment that fishing rights will not be up for renegotiation with Brussels in the coming weeks.

The assurance was given at Prime Minister’s Questions in response to a question from Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid.

The Tory MP asked if the Prime Minister would  “stand firm” against the “vain attempts” of EU fishing nations to guarantee common access to UK waters after Brexit.

His question was in response to suggestions from some EU member states that fishing would be among the issues subject to change if talks on the EU Withdrawal Agreement were re-opened.

Mr Duguid’s question came the day after a majority of MPs voted in favour of an amendment last night to seek alternatives to the backstop arrangements for Northern Ireland.


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In her reply the prime minister said she could give him “an absolute commitment that I will do that”.

Mrs May said: “Leaving the Common Fisheries Policy, becoming an independent coastal state is so important to this country, to enable us to enhance and give opportunities to fishing communities around the United Kingdom.

“I recognise it is particularly important in Scotland, but there are fishing communities around the whole of the UK that will benefit from us becoming an independent coastal state. And I am very clear, our position is there, we have that agreement and it is not up for re-negotiation.”

Speaking afterwards, Mr Duguid said: “I was very pleased to hear the Prime Minister give an absolute commitment today that access to our fishing waters is not up for renegotiation.

“If the EU Withdrawal Agreement is to be opened up, there is no question that France, and other member states, will seek concessions on fishing.

“The UK Government has stood firm against those attempts and must continue to do so.”

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