Brexiteer Owen Paterson plans to put down an amendment to the Fisheries Bill which is back before the Commons this week. His proposal comes amid growing concerns that Britain will hand back control of its waters in exchange for a slightly better free trade deal. If passed it would be a slap in the face for French President Emmanuel Macron, who announced that he would insist on French vessels having access to British waters as part of an agreement.
Sixty per cent of fish caught in British waters, particularly around Scotland, is landed in EU ports.
Many fishermen are still angry with the way former prime minister Ted Heath signed away British waters as part of the price of joining the European Economic Community.
The move was blamed for the destruction of fishing communities, with severe reductions in the fleets in places such as Grimsby, Lowestoft and Falmouth.
Tory MP Mr Paterson said: “The Common Fisheries Policy has been a biological, environmental, economic and social disaster. The UK must be free to set its own policy as an independent coastal state after Brexit.
“Any access for foreign fishing fleets must be granted on a strictly reciprocal basis. It is pointless to withdraw from a failed EU policy only to remain bound to its deeply damaging rules or open to punishment for not complying with them.”
He added: “We need to be absolutely crystal clear that taking back control means the UK deciding for ourselves what happens in our waters and granting access only for equivalent opportunities in return.”