The Current State Of The UK Fishing Industry
The UK is one of the largest economies in the world and as such has a large impact on the rest of the economy. Britain has traditionally been a strong EU member, trading heavily with the EU on goods and services, both internally and externally. This means that the UK has been a major player in European exports for over a decade, second only to the USA. The UK fishing sector has traditionally been strong too, with over three quarters of UK fish exports going to the European Union.
What Effect Has Brexit Had On Fishing In The UK?
However, with the UK due to leave the European Union in the forthcoming months the industry is facing some uncertainty about the future. The future of the EU itself will also be in doubt and the potential for trade deals with other countries are also being threatened. It has been a long standing fact that the UK is the world’s leading producer of food, but this could change after the UK leaves the EU. As such the fisheries industry is being affected by all of these factors in uncertain ways.
Fishing is one of the key sectors to watch out for following the UK’s exit from the European Union. Britain was a major member of the EEC / EU for over forty seven years until July last year, when membership was ended following the recent referendum. For the entirety of Britain’s membership to date the impact that being a EU member has on the UK’s fishing sector has been a major issue. In the immediate aftermath of the UK’s decision to leave the EU the fishing industry suffered a huge blow, with over three hundred jobs lost. While the amount of fishermen that were affected has reduced over the past few weeks thanks to the resumption of fishing licenses, the long term impact on the industry is still a worrying one.
Other Factors Affecting Fishing
Over the past eighteen months there has been a great deal of uncertainty and unpredictability focused upon the UK’s relationship with the EU. This uncertainty has impacted upon the whole of the British market, and the fish market is no exception. While there is no doubt that the UK’s relationship with the EU will be a key factor to the country’s recovery and future growth, predicting the future impact of the Brexite Agreement will be an area of controversy going forward. There is every chance that the UK’s relationship with the EU may suffer after the Brexite Agreement is signed. This is a huge worry for the fish farmers and fishermen across the UK, and it’s one of the reasons why Remain has won the recent general election.
Another huge issue facing the UK’s fish industry after the Brexit Agreement is the impending impact of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy. The C.A.P. would see many European nations hike their import tariffs on certain foods including fish. This would translate into extra costs for consumers across the UK, and the prices of fish are already suffering due to high food inflation.
What Has The Fallout Been From This Process?
The uncertainty of the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU is bad for the UK’s fishing industry. Fish farming industry groups have warned that the UK could see a sharp decline in the amount of fish stocks if the UK pulls out of the European Union. If this were to happen the UK’s position as a leading agricultural producer in the world would be at risk. The uncertainty of the Brexite Agreement could see the UK fishing industries lose access to European waters which could have a devastating effect on the marine ecosystems and lead to the decline of the fish population.