Earlier, as post-Brexit talks between London and Brussels came down to the wire, and the spectre of a no-deal exit from the bloc loomed, reports claimed the Royal Navy was ready to deploy four patrol ships to stop EU fishing vessels if they illegally enter the Channel.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has weighed in on the row over the British government’s readiness to resort to Navy patrol ships to prevent EU trawlers from fishing illegally in UK waters if a post-Brexit deal collapsed, writes The Telegraph.
As the Defence Secretary confirmed that Britain would “always have assets along the shore line of the United Kingdom to protect it”, he added:
Wallace also suggested that “European friends” ought to be aware that “whatever happens in negotiations, we must respect each other’s sovereign waters and indeed follow the rule of law and behave peacefully”.
As negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal have stalled after numerous unsuccessful rounds, hitting a number of critical hurdles, the likelihood that Britain might ‘crash’ out of the bloc without an agreement in place increased.
The UK Defence Secretary warned that as the year-end transition period deadline was fast approaching, Britain was ready for “whatever is the challenge on January 1”.
According to Wallace, even as UK-EU talks had been ongoing, “some months ago” he had ordered the Ministry of Defence to gear up for “worst case scenarios”.
Access to UK fishing waters for…