Hands off our fish was one of the Brexiteers strongest rallying cries during their referendum campaign to quit the European Union. They sailed a flotilla of fishing vessels up the Thames to make their point in a noisy protest,
and the sight of foreign boats casting their nets in British waters while the British domestic fleet was cut back angered many.
Now leading Brexiteer and Environment Minister Michael Gove says Britain is to tear up a fishing deal with five nations agreed 10 years before Britain even joined the EU.
“Fishing in the immediate area around our waters, 6 to 12 miles, yes, we will be saying that we’re taking back control, and we will in due course…” said Gove.
“So no French, no Spanish boats at all?” interrupted TV show host Andrew Marr.
“We will have control”, insisted Gove. “We can decide the terms of access, and that means that we can extend control of our waters up to 200 miles, or the median line between Britain and France, or Britain and Ireland.”
The 1964 agreement will take two years to deactivate starting with the official announcement on Monday, which will lead to no foreign ships being allowed to do close offshore fishing around Britain. British ships will also lose their reciprocal access.