Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, April 21, 2017

One complication of many

What takes precedence? UK sovereignty? EU treaties? historical fishing rights? the British navy?

Denmark to contest UK efforts to 'take back control' of fisheries
The British government’s plan to “take back control” of its waters after leaving the EU is about to be challenged by a claim from Denmark that its fishermen have a historical right to access to the seas around Britain dating back to the 1400s.

Officials in Copenhagen have mined the archives to build a legal case that could potentially be fought in the international court of justice in The Hague, although officials hasten to say that this is not their intention.

Denmark is seeking a Brexit deal that recognises the right of its fleet to continue to exploit a hundred shared stocks of species such as cod, herring, mackerel, plaice and sand eel…

The development suggests that leaving the EU will not reap the dividends promised by prominent leave campaigners, including the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, who has claimed that the union’s “crazy” common fisheries policy has halved UK employment in the industry…

Denmark’s foreign affairs minister, Anders Samuelsen, told the Guardian the issue was crucial to many communities in Denmark and that they would be making their case through the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.

“Danish fishermen have historically been fishing across the North Sea. The common fisheries policy in the EU has regulated this, based on historical rights and preserving our common stocks that don’t follow economic zones,” he said…

The Danish MEP Ole Christensen, who sits on the committee, said: “If, and I am really not hoping for this, UK and EU27 does not reach an agreement, it would be terrible for both parties.

“If we are not able to fish in UK waters and the UK cannot export their catch to the EU27, it will hurt everyone, not least the people who make their living in the sector. For the sake of everyone, we need to keep an open mind and work on getting a fair deal.” …

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