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Thursday 6 February 2020

The government is boosting the number of ships patrolling British waters in preparation for a clash with EU vessels in the event talks over fisheries collapse.

The Telegraph reveals the government will propose a Norway-style fisheries deal with the EU, which will enrage the fishing sector on the continent. Boats from Spain, France and the Netherlands would have only limited access to UK waters. The arrangement would also shut them out of most of Norway’s waters as well as reducing access to fish stocks around Britain’s coastline. The government has upped patrols to ward off insurgent netting from across the Channel.

Two extra ships have been hired to bolster the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron.

Each year, Norway enters into negotiations with the EU over quotas for various different fish stocks based on scientific data. It’s a stark contrast with the status quo.

The Continent’s huge fisheries industries have rigged the system to enable them to plunder British waters. Scientific data and environmental concerns have taken a backseat, for instance electric pulse fishing was only recently banned by the EU after years of abuse, particularly by the Dutch.

No wonder the government is expecting a fight that will make 2018’s Scallop Wars look like a petty tussle.

The foreign secretary has jetted off to Australia, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia in his first big trade mission since independence.

“Now is the time to put Global Britain into action,” said Dominic Raab before he heading off Down Under to begin a whistle-stop tour with some of the UK’s most important trade partners.

“The Asia-Pacific region is full of opportunities and our message is that the UK is open for business and a great place to invest.”

Raab’s wooing of the Japan comes after it was revealed earlier this week Nissan has hatched an audacious plan to move all European production to the UK in order to boost productivity and market share in Britain’s massive car market.

The British services sector hits a 16 month high.

The IHS Markit/Cips index of services activity hit 53.9 in January, its best reading since September 2018.

Anything above 50 indicates growth.

The upturn “provides the clearest sign yet that the economy has turned a corner at the start of the year” said to Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at Capital Economics. 

EU enlarges even more with Albania and North Macedonia set to join.

Brussels yesterday set out a new framework for European countries to join the struggling bloc.

In 2013 Croatia joined the club. Since then, talks with Iceland towards the same goal have broken down irreparably and Britain has left.

EU expansion is focused back on the Balkans and mighty Albania and North Macedonia are being lined up to fill Britain’s big shoes.

The problem is the French are instinctively against making the EU family bigger and poorer – it will dilute France’s power and remove physical barriers between the Schengen area and the Middle East.

Germany takes the opposite view so Brussels has come up with a new and supposedly more stringent pathway to EU membership in the hope of pleasing both sides.

“Today the EU Commission proposes a credible and dynamic plan paving the way for opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania,” tweeted Ursula von der Leyen in an indirect appeal to Emmanuel Macron who has branded the existing system “Bizarre”.

“EU enlargement is a win-win situation,” added the European Commission President.  

We beg to differ, and we’re not alone.