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Dr Niall McCrae, from the think tank the Bruges Group’s, argued that British fishermen could expert clashes with EU member states over access to UK fishing waters. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Dr McCrae said clashes could occur if a satisfying post-Brexit trade deal – including elements on fishing – isn’t agreed between the two sides. He noted UK fishermen may have to defend themselves from French and Spanish boats, and even Irish vessels.
Dr McCrae said: “The British are going to police their fishing waters.
“If this is true this will mean keeping Irish boats out as much as we keep French and Spanish boats out.
“I think there is going to be a conflict there.”
Dr McCrae argued that despite the difficulties in coming to a conclusive fishing trade deal, the UK will always want a good relationship with its neighbours.
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He said: “I think the British interest will always be to have a good relationship with Ireland.
“We will want to allow Irish boats to fish in our waters just like Northern Irish boats may fish off the waters of the Republic.
“I think pragmatic realities are going to sink in and you will start to see a big change in numbers for Irish opinion polls.”
Dr McCrae also noted that he believed the UK fishing industry had an opportunity regardless whether Britain got a good fishing trade deal with the EU.
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He said in the event a trade deal is agreed, the UK will have more access to its own fishing waters and be able to sell at home and abroad more.
In the event of no trade deal being agreed, Dr McCrae said Britons may simply change their buying habits to have less European fish and more British caught.
Dr McCrae said: “Well clearly there is a big export potential.
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“At the moment we have supertrawlers coming up and dredging up our fish and this is our natural produce which is just taken away.
“We get no benefit from it at all so can certainly expand our fishing industry.”
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