New quota deal means British fishermen can catch 30,000 tonnes more than before Brexit

British boats will be allowed to catch 140,000 tonnes of fish worth £280 million next year – Jason Alden/Bloomberg

British fishermen will be able to land 30,000 more tonnes next year than would have been possible before Brexit, ministers declared on Tuesday.

The Government announced a new quota deal with the EU that will take the total potential catches for UK trawlers in 2023 up to £750 million.

Senior Tories said the uplift demonstrated the benefits of the UK having left the bloc and regained its status as an independent coastal state.

British boats will be allowed to catch 140,000 tonnes of fish worth £280 million next year under the agreement struck with Brussels.

That is a 27 per cent increase on the 110,000 tonnes that the UK would have been allocated if it were still a member of the bloc, the Government said.

The increase is expected to particularly benefit Scottish fleets and coastal communities across the UK by boosting exports.

Britain has struck fisheries deals with the EU, Norway and North Atlantic countries such as Greenland and Iceland - Annie Sakkab/Bloomberg

Britain has struck fisheries deals with the EU, Norway and North Atlantic countries such as Greenland and Iceland – Annie Sakkab/Bloomberg

Mark Spencer, the fisheries minister, said the “great deal” showed Britain had taken back control of its waters after Brexit.

“We are 30,000 tonnes better off now that we are outside the EU than we would’ve been if we’d remained as a member state,” he told the Commons.

“As an independent coastal state…we have the freedom to negotiate on our own terms and push for deals that will deliver for the UK fishing industry.

“This deal is better than we would have negotiated if we had been within the EU. Clearly 30,000 tonnes is a significant amount of fish.”

Britain has struck three fisheries deals this year with Brussels, Norway and North Atlantic countries such as Greenland and Iceland.

In total they add up to over £750 million worth of opportunities for UK boats, which is £34 million more than was secured last year.

‘Welcome by coastal communities’

George Eustice, a former environment secretary, said fishermen would especially benefit from a “significant recovery” in North Sea cod.

“As an independent coastal state the UK has received a greater share of the fisheries resources in our waters but has also been in a stronger position to argue for more sustainable catch limits in negotiations with our neighbours,” he told the Telegraph.

Craig Mackinlay, a Tory MP, added: “It’s great news now we’re out of the EU that we are gradually finding our freedoms to catch more domestic fish.

“This will be welcomed by coastal communities like mine but there is still a long way to go, particularly in outlawing foreign factory ships through our waters.”

The deal was welcomed by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation which described it as a “good outcome” for its members.

But others lost out with Jane Sandell, the CEO of UK Fisheries, saying it was another “body blow for fishermen in the north east of England”.

Under the trade deal vessels from the EU continue to have guaranteed access to UK waters until 2026, with their quotas being slowly reduced.

After that Britain will be able to negotiate with the bloc whilst able to fully set the entry terms for boats from European countries.

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