UKIP fisheries spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP, has slammed new EU demands for continued fishing access to our waters after 2020, saying “the EU is holding the UK’s fishing grounds hostage.”

Mr Hookem’s comments came after the EU published new guidelines to future UK/EU trade talks, which state, “in the overall context of the FTA, existing reciprocal access to fishing waters and resources should be maintained.”

Speaking from his Yorkshire constituency, Mr Hookem said, “this latest EU demand is nothing more than an attempted daylight robbery of the UK’s rich fishing resources.”

Mr Hookem continued, “Unlike the British Government, the EU understands the true value of our fishing resources and are trying to blackmail Britain in allowing continued access after the transitional period ends in 2020.”

“Given Theresa May and David Davis’ track record so far in Brexit negotiations, I have no doubt that they will roll over and allow EU negotiators to walk all over them. However, for many in the fishing industry, this will be the final nail in the coffin.”

“Any move to allow the EU to continue stripping the UK’s rich fishing resources after 2020 will be the completion of a betrayal that started with Edward Heath in 1972; continued when the Tories allowed fishing to be included in the transitional arrangements; and will end with continued access post-2020.”

“When will Theresa May grow a pair and start to stand up for the United Kingdom and tell the EU to get lost.”

“Should the UK reclaim its full fishing rights under international law, the industry is worth at least £6.3billon to the British economy at today’s prices. The potential boost in income would help many struggling coastal communities and protect a historic industry that has been practised in Britain for millennia.”