France will have ZERO ACCESS to British waters if there is a No Deal Brexit, warns Raab

FRANCE will have ZERO access to British waters in the event of a No Deal Brexit, Dominic Raab has warned. 

The Foreign Secretary said Brits would also expect the Royal Navy to play a part in policing territorial fishing waters if the UK crashes out of the bloc.

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Speaking on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show, he said: "With the French this is crazy to end up without a free trade deal when they're making such aggressive demands on fisheries.

"If we leave without a free trade deal, they will have zero assured access to our fisheries."

The Foreign Secretary added that the Royal Navy would play a role in policing British waters in the event of a no-deal.

He continued: "The Navy has always been involved in coastguard operations.

"I think if we leave the EU with no free trade deal – which we want, which we're striving for – of course we're going to exercise full control in the way I think people would expect over our fisheries."

Mr Raab, asked if the Royal Navy would be given extra powers to board foreign trawlers, said he did not think there would be "significant change" to the "operating rules" of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

'DRAG AND DRIFT'

He added the UK would enforce international rules in its waters in a "proportionate way", but argued it was "crazy" for France to be making "aggressive demands" when its fishermen would lose out if there was no agreement.

Mr Raab also told Marr that talks could drag on beyond today's deadline.

The Cabinet minister said "never say never" and highlighted that negotiations with Brussels have a tendency to "drag and drift".

Four 80-metre Royal Navy vessels will be tasked with intercepting any EU fishing boats operating within the UK's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), it's claimed.

However, the Guardian reports even though the patrol ships are equipped with machine guns they are not expected to ever have to use them in anger.

Instead they would tackle any vessel feared to be breaking rules within the EEZ – which can extend 200 miles from shore – and then board them.

In the most extreme cases, an EU boat could be seized and then escorted to the nearest UK port, states the report.

“Nobody is going to be firing warning shots against French fishermen; firearms are only used when there is danger to life,” a navy source told the Guardian.

It comes as Boris Johnson prepares to hold a make or break call with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen later today.

Despite ongoing negotiations, government sources reportedly put the chances of Britain leaving without a deal at 80 per cent, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Negotiations have hit the buffers over two key issues – fish and EU attempts to force the UK to stick to its rules after Brexit.

Both sides have just two weeks to get a deal agreed and inked to avoid Britain crashing out on New Year’s Eve.

Ministers have told supermarkets to begin stockpiling food and other goods as the chances of a No Deal Brexit shot up to 80 per cent.

The government fears Brits will start panic buying if the UK crashes out without a deal.

Retailers have also warned food prices could be hiked in the event of a No Deal.

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