In Brief

UK to pull out of European fisheries deal

Michael Gove hails move as 'important moment' in taking back control of fishing policy

Britain will today announce plans to withdraw from an international fishing agreement that predates the UK's entry into the EU.

The London fisheries convention allows vessels from five European countries to fish between six and 12 miles from the UK coast.

Brexit "was already going to stop fishing by European boats within 12 to 200 nautical miles of British shores, but this move goes even further in terminating historic rights enjoyed by France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands", says Bloomberg.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the move was an "important moment as we take back control of our fishing policy".

He added: "It means for the first time in more than 50 years we will be able to decide who can access our waters."

The government has not yet said whether it will actually seek to bar European vessels from its territorial waters. "Any access arrangements [are] to be discussed in future fisheries deals," says the Financial Times.

However, while the move has been welcomed by National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations, environmentalists have urged caution, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Dr Tom West, a consultant for the environmental law firm ClientEarth, said: "As a country outside the EU we need to consider how we can best co-operate with our neighbours rather than unilaterally withdrawing from all agreements in the hope that standing alone will make us better.

"Many fish stocks in UK waters are shared with our neighbours and so need cooperation and shared management."

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