Fishermen will 'absolutely' get back full control of British waters - Michael Gove
PUBLISHED: 18:45 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 23:06 07 September 2018
The Minister for the Environment, Michael Gove, has insisted fishermen will get full control of British waters following Brexit.
The Secretary of State was speaking in an interview with this newspaper during a visit to Gazeley Water Treatment Works, near Newmarket, today.
The Government has promised the UK will take charge of its waters and the ability to set its own quotas for UK-based vessels, but some fishermen are concerned concessions will be made in the Brexit negotiations.
When asked whether there would be full control, Mr Gove said: “Yes, absolutely, one of the things that taking back control of our waters will mean when we leave the European Union, is that coastal communities that have relied on fishing in the past will have the opportunity to regenerate and grow again.
“So for people in Lowestoft and beyond who have an understandable commitment to fishing and want to see a chance for the industry to recover then leaving the European Union provides a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Mr Gove was visiting the Anglian Water site yesterday to learn more about the company’s innovative approach to reducing leaks and how it is investing to tackle challenges like climate change. During this summer’s drought there were no hosepipe bans in the region.
Mr Gove said: “Anglian Water, whom I have been visiting today, have been taking steps over the last few years in order to up their game.
“I think we all recognise that when water was privatised initially some mistakes were made, but this Government is making sure we have the right priorities and Anglian is a company that understands that.
“And as a result we are seeing additional investment to make sure that we stop the leaks which are so frustrating, environmentally wasteful and also bad for consumers.
“Anglian’s performance is at the top of the league in the UK. Of course, so it should, because this is the driest region we need to go that extra mile.”
During his visit Mr Gove was shown technology to listen for leaks, locate them - including using drones - and to repair them efficiently.
Peter Simpson, chief executive of Anglian Water, said: “We as a company have the lowest level of leakage of any UK company.”
Earlier this week, Anglian Water announced a record £6.5 billion investment programme.
This five-year-business plan includes reducing leakage by a further 22%, with an investment of £240 million that would make Anglian Water a world leader in leakage.