UK-Norway fishing deal leaked online giving major insight into critical EU Brexit talks

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The five-page document, published in both English and Norwegian, surfaced on the internet just a week after the pact was concluded. Under the agreement, the UK and Norway agreed to fix quotas and access to each other’s waters annually. UK fishing fleets land around £32 million worth of fish from Norwegian waters each year.

It was the first fisheries agreement signed by Britain as an independent coastal state in 40 years.

The leaked framework agreement doesn’t contain exact details on potential fishing opportunities, which will be decided as part of annual negotiations.

But Downing Street has secured the use of “zonal attachment” – a scientific method to calculate quotas based on where fish live – in the pact.


This is also a key demand from No10 in the post-Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

The Norway agreement says: “We commit to recognising the importance of zonal attachment as a principle of international fisheries management applied by coastal states when discharging their obligations under UNCLOS and related instruments in relation to join management of shared stocks.”

Annual negotiations over access is also another win secured by British negotiators, and is also being asked as part of the EU fisheries agreement.

The Norway agreement states: “The Parties shall consult annually to seek to determine, inter alia, the following matters.

“Any access by fishing vessels flying the flag of one Party to the other’s area of jurisdiction.

“Any transfer of quota from one Party to the other for fishing by vessels flying the flag of the other Party, subjected to adjustment where necessary.

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