February 27, 2020 / 10:21 AM / a month ago

UK wants annual negotiations with EU on fishing rights -mandate

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Britain wants a separate agreement on fishing alongside its free trade deal with the European Union, with annual negotiations on dividing up the total catch, according to the government’s negotiating mandate published on Thursday.

The government said the agreement must respect Britain’s status as an independent coastal state from the end of this year, and cover access to UK and EU waters, fishing opportunities and future cooperation on fisheries management.

“Fishing opportunities should be negotiated annually based on the best available science for shared stocks,” the document said.

Britain said it would no longer accept the existing “relative stability” mechanism for sharing fishing quotas as it was outdated. Instead the government wants to use the principal of zonal attachment which it said better reflects where fish live and is the basis for the EU’s fisheries agreement with Norway. (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by William James)

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