British Admiral warns UK has "insufficient assets to patrol and look after our exclusive economic zone for fisheries" after no-Deal Brexit

There is "a lot of uncertainty" about the UK's capacity to patrol fishing waters after a no-deal Brexit, a government memo inadvertently emailed to the BBC has revealed.

The memo, from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), says there are just 12 ships "to monitor a space three times the size of the surface area of the UK", the BBC reports.

In the event of leaving without a deal, the UK would become an independent coastal state and leave the Common Fisheries Policy, which states the EU's shared rules about how much fish countries can catch and where.

Whilst ministers have said they are confident security will be enforced after Brexit, Admiral Lord West, a Labour peer and former First Sea Lord, said the email appeared to show the UK has "insufficient assets to patrol and look after our exclusive economic zone for fisheries, and also our territorial seas".

"This will be thrown into stark relief if we should cease to have an agreement with the EU on fisheries."

He added: "This is something a number of us have been saying for some time now, but it has always been denied by Defra and the government."

Image: RoyalNavy

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