Fury as Boris lets 1,659 foreign ships plunder UK waters – including EIGHT supertrawlers

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And among the vessels which have been given the thumbs-up are no fewer than eight massive supertrawlers, each measuring well over 300 feet in length. Jayne Adye, director of the Get Britain Out grassroots pro-Brexit campaign, made her startling revelation during the course of her regular Friday email bulletin.

And she warned the Prime Minister’s famous pledge to take back control was in danger of turning out to be “empty rhetoric”.

Mrs Adye pointed to a recent Freedom of Information Request submitted by Get Britain Out to the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

This revealed that all applications for fishing licences, from any country, to fish inside the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has been approved.

In consequence, there are now 1,659 foreign vessels licensed to fish in the United Kingdom’s waters.

The total includes 68 boats which are 164ft in length and eight supertrawlers which are longer than 328ft.

Ms Adye said: “The Prime Minister has had great electoral success through his messaging of ‘Brexit being done’, combined with the vaccine rollout.

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“However, if the Conservatives want to stay in power beyond the next General Election and keep these new votes, promises of ‘Taking Back Control’ must actually be delivered upon, rather than simply being more empty rhetoric.”

She explained: “With such a large number of foreign vessels allowed to fish our waters, with not a single rejected licence, how can the Government claim we have ‘Taken Back Control’ of our waters or expect the UK fishing industry to recover?”

Referring to this week’s threatened Channel Islands blockade by French fishing boats, Ms Adye said: “We are doling out fishing licences willy nilly and getting zero in return – except for threats.

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“First of all, we had the blockade of St Peter Port in Jersey and now more threats of a blockade in Calais.”

The sad reality was the EU – especially the French – seemed to believe they should be given free rein over another country’s land and sea, a view reinforced by the current UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, Ms Adye argued.

She added: “It is about time Prime Minister, Boris Johnson got his act together.

“Instead of making vague announcements about his new White Paper on so-called ‘Levelling Up’, he should get on with placing the Bill in front of Parliament and stop simply talking about it.”

Nor should Mr Johnson, currently basking in today’s election triumphs, including a notable victory in the Hartlepool by-election, take his new-found supporters for granted, Ms Adye stressed.

She said: “The now ‘Blue Wall’ is still very vulnerable and after trusting the Conservatives with their votes for the first time in Hartlepool and in many Councils around the country this week, if promises are not kept, you can be sure there will be a substantial backlash.”

Guidance posted on Defra’s website on December 31 states: “The agreement between the UK and EU permits non-UK vessels access to fish in UK waters under certain conditions.

“The UK is not part of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.

“It is a sovereign independent coastal state with the right to manage the resources in its waters.

“As an independent coastal state, the UK government is responsible for managing the UK’s territorial waters (out to 12 nautical miles) and the Exclusive Economic Zone (out to 200 nautical miles or the median line with other states).”

Express.co.uk has approached Defra for further comment.

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