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Scallop war: UK will be unable to protect waters post-Brexit, former first sea lord warns

A former chief of the UK’s naval workers has stated the nation doesn’t have sufficient ships to patrol its waters, warning of “disastrous” penalties after Brexit.

Ex-First Sea Lord, Lord West of Spithead, stated the “inadequate” variety of ships had been uncovered by latest clashes between British and French fishermen over scallops

Rocks and smoke bombs had been hurled at British fishing vessels within the English Channel throughout skirmishes on Tuesday. French mariners are offended a few home ban stopping them from harvesting the scallop-rich area whereas British boats have free rein to fish.

Lord West stated the bitter dispute had revealed the UK’s lack of protecting cowl and organisational flaws.

“It’s clear that we’ve got inadequate ships to patrol the UK’s territorial seas and our Unique Financial Zone (EEZ),” the Labour peer wrote in a letter to The Each day Telegraph.

“Co-ordination of the few ships we do have is fragmented. In concept, co-ordination is exercised by the co-located Joint Maritime Operations Command Centre.

“However this command centre lacks a single commander with authority to order authorities departments to take motion, and subsequently is unable to train correct command.

“After Brexit, this shall be disastrous.”

If Britain leaves the EU, it’ll turn into accountable for patrolling its personal EEZ, fairly than being a part of a shared EEZ for the entire of the bloc.

EU members’ entry to British fishing waters still needs to be negotiated as a part of any Brexit deal.

The present EU Widespread Fisheries Coverage permits any member state “equal entry” to EU waters greater than 12 nautical miles off the shore of different international locations.

A long-running feud over scallops and territorial waters got here to a head earlier this week within the Baie de Seine space, a part of the English Channel.

French authorities try to protect scallop shares within the space off the coast of northern France by banning fishing there till the top of September. The French home regulation doesn’t apply to British fishing boats, nonetheless.

On Tuesday morning round 35 to 40 French ships encircled a dozen British boats close to the coast of Normandy.

Boats rammed into one another and the French fishermen had been accused of throwing projectiles and shouting insults at their British counterparts.

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