A Lower than 48 hours from the deadline to strike a post-Brexit commerce take care of the European Union, Royal Navy vessels stand prepared to guard British fishing grounds the place tensions might come up if negotiations fail .
4 80-meter-long vessels have been placed on stand-by to stop EU trawlers from coming into UK waters if there isn’t a new settlement on fishing rights, one of many factors blocking commerce negotiations.
If no compromise is discovered, the UK, which formally left the EU on January 31, 2020 however continues to abide by European guidelines throughout a transition interval that ends on December 31, will regain full management of its international locations. waters on January 1st.
The British Ministry of Protection has confirmed that ships are on standby, explaining that they’ve “carried out intensive planning and preparations to make sure that the protection is prepared for varied eventualities on the finish of the transition interval”, in keeping with a door -speak of the ministry.
This deployment evokes unhealthy reminiscences of the “cod wars” with Iceland over fishing rights within the North Atlantic, which lasted for almost 20 years, earlier than lastly discovering a settlement within the Seventies.
Preparations within the occasion of a “no deal” have accelerated in current days on either side of the Channel, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen exhibiting indicators of pessimism in regards to the end result of the talks.
These block on three topics: fishing, the settlement of disputes sooner or later settlement and the ensures demanded of London by the European Union by way of competitors.
Touring within the north of England on Friday, Boris Johnson judged “very very seemingly” the failure of negotiations, which proceed however, till the deadline of Sunday.
Identical pessimism amongst Ursula von der Leyen, who informed the leaders of the 27 summit in Brussels that hopes for an settlement had been “weak”, informed AFP a number of members.
Within the occasion of a “no deal”, commerce on both facet of the Channel dangers being carried out underneath the only real guidelines of the World Commerce Group (WTO), synonymous with customs duties and quotas.
Fishing has been one of many areas of stress in commerce negotiations. Regardless of its negligible financial weight, the topic is essential for a number of Member States (France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Eire) whose fishermen need to hold entry to British waters, that are filled with fish.
The inflexibility of the 2 sides of the Channel didn’t make it attainable to reconcile beginning positions on the antipodes: the established order in entry to those waters on the European facet, whole management for London with quotas negotiated every year.
Retired Admiral Alan West, former Chief of the Naval Workers, noticed match to organize for attainable tensions in British waters.
“It’s fully applicable for the Royal Navy to guard our waters if the place is that we’re a sovereign state and the federal government doesn’t need to see fishing boats from one other nation there,” he stated. he informed the BBC.
Requested by the identical media, the previous European commissioner and former minister Chris Patten, accused Boris Johnson of behaving like an “English nationalist”.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, former captain of the British military and chairman of the parliamentary committee on protection, feared that the picture of the UK was tarnished.
“We discover ourselves going through the prospect of seeing our already overwhelmed Royal Navy confronting an in depth NATO ally over fishing rights,” he lamented on the BBC. “We have to construct alliances, not break them. », He pleaded.
The Protection Ministry stated it has 14,000 troopers able to be deployed to assist with the post-Brexit transition. Based on British media, military helicopters may be used to watch the coasts.