IN a recent series of Freedom of Information requests I submitted as director of Get Britain Out, I sought to identify if claims by European fishermen that they have been cut off from access to UK waters have any merit. I asked the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many applications to fish in both the UK’s large Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the six-12 nautical mile range, had been approved and how many have been rejected. The response is shocking. Not only have 1,659 boats been granted licences to fish in our EEZ waters – including eight supertrawlers – 105 vessels have also been granted licences to fish inside our six-12 nautical mile range. However, the mouldy lemon on top of the fishcake is that, for both the EEZ and the six-12 nautical mile range, not a single application has been rejected by the UK government. The full Freedom of Information requests and the received responses can be seen here. Such damning evidence raises urgent questions: Why are we simply giving away our assets like this and gaining little or nothing in return? How does the Government think the UK fishing industry can recover if it allows any fishermen who apply to scoop up most of the fish in our waters? This also demonstrates the sheer arrogance of European fishermen, who flood our news outlets with complaints of being ‘cut off’ from our waters. The evidence clearly shows that anyone who wants to fish in UK waters can currently send in a licence application and it will be approved. It is about time the Government put an end to this, so our own fishermen can rebuild their industry and their communities. ‘Taking back control’ of our waters is all well and good, but if you fail to use this control to actually make any changes, then it is wasted. This is comparable to claiming you have secured our borders while approving every visa application. With such a large number of foreign vessels allowed to fish our waters, and not a single rejected licence, how can the Government expect the UK’s domestic fishing industry to ever recover? Just last week, French president Emmanuel Macron again threatened to block a deal on financial services if fishing disputes are not resolved. How much more does he want? As far as I can see, French fishermen seem to have everything they asked for already. The reality is that the EU – and in particular the French – seems to believe its members should be given free rein over another country’s land and sea. And unfortunately the current UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement all but confirms this. It is about time Boris Johnson got his act together and actually addressed these issues. The local elections and the Hartlepool by-election are now behind him and the pandemic appears to be coming to an end. There is no time for more excuses. There’s still a great deal to do to finish Brexit for the good of Global Britain, Boris.