UK: Fisheries Framework Agreement draft negotiating document published

The United Kingdom published (April 2020) a Draft Working Text for a Fisheries Framework Agreement between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the European Union. The preamble of this document states that:

The UK proposal reflects the fact that, at the end of 2020, the UK will be an independent coastal State and will no longer be bound by the Common Fisheries Policy, and that the current arrangements on quota-sharing will end. In line with the UK’s commitment to best available science, future fishing opportunities should be based on the principle of zonal attachment. The UK proposal is based on relevant international precedents, including the EU’s separate fisheries agreements with other coastal states. Through this agreement, and the annual negotiations it provides for, the UK would fulfil its obligations under UNCLOS to cooperate with the EU on the sustainable management of shared stocks.

The document calls for “annual negotiations on fishing opportunities and access” (Article 2). It proposes that any vessels granted access to fish in the relevant waters must “obtain an authorisation and a licence” (Article 3.1) before commencing fishing operations and that “each Party shall manage its own fisheries independently and may take such measures in its relevant waters as it considers appropriate to ensure the rational and sustainable management of fisheries” (Article 4.1). The document is available here.

A Draft text of the Agreement on the New Partnership with the United Kingdom, which includes a chapter on fisheries, was published (18 March 2020) by the European Union. It is available here.

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