The Fisheries Bill 2020 passed its third reading in the House of Commons on 13 October and is now approaching Royal Assent (the Bill began in the Lords).
The Bill removes the automatic right of foreign vessels to fish in UK waters without being granted a special license.
There are also several environmental measures, although – strangely – the current version of the Bill does not contain any provision for the setting of catch limits or recovery of vulnerable species.
Fishery access has been a major area of conflict between UK and EU trade negotiators. Fishermen in France, the Netherlands and Spain have expressed concern at the possibility of exclusion from UK waters after January 2021.
The UK government has expanded its fishery protection assets in recent months.
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