‘Big problem’ Denmark blasts Brexit Britain over fishing after UK proposes trawling ban
After months of cross-Channel tensions over fishing rights, the UK faces yet another seaborne challenge from a European Union member state. Denmark, which joined the Brussels bloc alongside Britain in 1973, now alleges the UK’s proposal to ban bottom trawling in an area of the North Sea violates the fishing terms signed in Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.
The UK Government put forward plans in February to impose a ban on bottom trawling in the North Sea’s Dogger Bank conservation zone.
Bottom trawling has been described as “destructive” as, although it often returns large batches of fish, it can also damage the biodiversity of the sea through its “indiscriminate” process.
But Denmark’s fisheries minister Rasmus Prehn, 48, has warned plans to introduce a ban in the area would go against the UK-EU Brexit deal.
In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Prehn said: “The Brexit agreement ensures full access to fish in UK waters until 2026.
“And therefore, of course, it is a very big problem for us if the British Government is going to change that.
“We find that unacceptable and it’s a breach of our agreement.”
He added how Danish fishermen “are already in a very difficult situation due to Brexit so this would be even more difficult for them and we can’t really accept that”.
The Danes, who voted against the Maastricht Treaty back in 1992, had tried to impose itself as a thorn in the side of Brexit Britain’s attempts to take back control back in 2017 after it was reported 40 percent of Denmark’s entire fishing take came from UK territorial waters.
Despite Danish concerns, a spokesperson from the Britain’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “The UK is a global leader in the fight to protect our seas.
“As an independent coastal state the UK can decide on the regulatory measures which apply to fishing in our waters, which includes taking measures to follow scientific advice and protect our marine environment.”