The EU is insisting its boats must be free to fish in British waters in return for agreeing to Theresa May’s UK-wide customs deal.
Mrs May’s plan would keep the whole of the UK in the EU’s customs union to avoid a hard border in Ireland if the two sides cannot strike a trade deal by the end of the transition period in December 2020.
But Brussels wants to keep access to UK waters as the price for agreeing Mrs May’s proposal.
A UK-wide customs deal would mean quota-free and tariff-free access to EU markets for British fishermen but the EU wants European boats to keep access to UK waters.
It comes after the Prime Minister last month promised the UK would take back control of its waters after Brexit.
Mrs May said: “Once the EU rules no longer apply to the UK, we will be an independent coastal state.
“We will be making our own decisions, controlling access to our own waters, and we will be seeking to gain a fairer share of quotas.”
Sheryll Murray, Tory MP for South East Cornwall, said any move that keeps UK fishermen locked into the EU’s controversial Common Fisheries Policy – which has been blamed for decimating Britain’s fishing industry – would be “totally unacceptable”.
Ms Murray said: “Anything that would tie UK fishermen to the Common Fisheries Policy for a longer period that already confirmed would be totally unacceptable.”
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8.25am update: DUP slam “total betrayal” over Northern Ireland-only backstop
Democratic Unionist Party MP Sammy Wilson has accused Mrs May of a “total betrayal” over plans to include a Northern Ireland-only backstop in a Brexit deal.
It comes after a leaked letter from Mrs May to DUP leader Arlene Foster revealed the EU’s demands for a Northern Ireland-only backstop if the UK-wide arrangement breaks down.
Mr Wilson said to Sky News the Prime Minister is guilty of a “total betrayal” and had gone back on “the promises she made”.
And Mrs Foster warned the letter “raises alarm bells” for those who want a “proper Brexit for the whole of the UK”.