31 - 01
As a member of the EU the UK has to abide by the requirements of the Common Fisheries Policy. Under this policy member states are entitled to fish in the waters of other member states up to 12 nautical miles from the coast. The policy also sets annual limits for the volume of fish that can caught from each stock. National quotas are divided up based on historical fishing patterns.
When the UK leaves the EU the government wants to reduce access to its fishing waters. But the UK exports almost half of its fish, caught or farmed, to other member states. The EU wants these two issues to be linked or it may lead to a breakdown in talks on all areas of trade.