Brexit warning as MP says UK will need to follow EU fishing rules without having a 'voice at table'

The UK fishing industry will still have to follow the EU fishing laws after Brexit.
The UK fishing industry will still have to follow the EU fishing laws after Brexit.
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Britain will have to abide by European Union fishing rules after Brexit but will not have a "voice at the table", a former environment minister has claimed.

Labour's Ben Bradshaw criticised the Government's stance after asking whether the Common Fisheries Policy would apply to the UK during a transition period.

Environment Minister George Eustice confirmed that Britain would leave the policy when it leaves the EU, but said the so-called repeal Bill would carry over fisheries regulations.

He told MPs: "The EU (Withdrawal) Bill will bring across current EU legislation to provide continuity on the day we leave and in the context of fisheries this will include the body of technical conservation regulations currently set by the EU."

Mr Bradshaw said his response was "very interesting", adding: "We won't have a voice at the table but we will have to abide by all of the Common Fisheries rules.

"But can he give an assurance to our industry who export more than 80% of what they catch straight to the rest of Europe that they will not face any tariffs or any other barriers during that transition period or after."

Mr Eustice said: "We are seeking that comprehensive free trade agreement and indeed in that transition period trade would continue normally.

"But (Mr Bradshaw) is wrong to say that we would not have a seat at the table - he is familiar with fisheries negotiations, he knows that these are annual events - whether we are negotiating with EU member states at the moment in December council or indeed with EU Norway or indeed the coastal states meetings - and we will become an independent coastal state on the day we leave the European Union in March 2019."

Shadow environment minister Sue Hayman said the repeal Bill made a "green Brexit" an "impossibility" as she urged the Government to admit the omission of the polluter pays principle and other environmental protections from the legislation were a "fundamental flaw".

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said he wanted to work with Ms Hayman and others to ensure that people can "guarantee the protections that they value stay in place".