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New £20m surveillance planes takes the EU fishing war to new level


The UK have hired surveillance planes to ensure other countries do not continue to fish in the waters following the EU divorce, as leaders continue to struggle through Brexit during the coronavirus crisis.

The surveillance aircrafts were originally hired for rescue missions and to monitor pollution. However, leaders have now diverted the planes to monitor the waters.

Brexit negotiations between the EU and UK had been scheduled this week but were cancelled following the coronavirus outbreak.

Under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which began in 1983, all EU countries have access to each other's waters. Upon leaving the bloc, the UK will regain control of its 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone, as per UN convention.

Currently, Norway allows EU and therefore UK boats to fish in its own EEZ waters in return for market access as well as the right to fish in the EU, and particularly UK, EEZs.

It is expected that post-Brexit, the UK will attempt to trade access to the UK market for access to Norwegian waters.

Similarly, market access to the EU will likely be a key element in UK-EU negotiations, given that the EU is the largest fisheries market in the world and a net importer of fish.