AS Britain enters into a round of negotiations with the European Union over Withdrawal, British International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has made a couple of statements concerning the future with the EU deal and the USA.
Firstly she has made it clear that Britain is not going to let down its fishermen by entering into any deal which reduces their rights but this appears to be something of a ‘red herring’.
Fishing quotas were issued years ago for conservation purposes to ensure that the majority of fish in European waters were not overfished in order to ensure their sustainability.
By a strange quirk of British law, there is no requirement that the fishing in British waters is actually undertaken by British fishermen and in actual fact many ‘canny’ quota holders sold their rights to foreign consortiums soon after.
In some cases they sold British boats to foreign owners making them British trawlers and in others they simply sold the rights to fish, so many of the larger fleets fishing in British waters are owned by Dutch, Icelandic or Spanish groups.
Secondly, Ms Truss has said that Britain will be prepared to walk away from a deal with the USA if it can’t get the deal that it wants as although there is a huge potential to work with America, it will not be with any diminishing of food hygiene standards nor at the expense of the National Health Service.
So now there is a possibility of two no deals.