Four Royal Navy patrol ships will be ready from Jan. 1 to help Britain protect its fishing waters in case of a no-deal Brexit, The Guardian newspaper reported Friday.
The 80-meter-long vessels will have the power to stop, check and impound all European Union fishing boats operating within Britain’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which can extend 200 miles (320 km) from shore, the report said, citing naval sources.
“We have done a lot of work to ensure we are ready for every eventuality,” a source was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Two vessels will be deployed at sea with two on standby in case EU fishing boats enter EEZ, the report added.
A Ministry of Defence representative told the newspaper the ministry “has conducted extensive planning and preparation to ensure that defence is ready for a range of scenarios at the end of the transition period.”
The ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that Britain was likely to complete its exit from the EU without a trade deal. Current arrangements will end on Dec. 31 when Britain’s Brexit transition period concludes.
A French minister said France would compensate its fishermen and take other measures to help them if talks for a post-Brexit trade deal collapse, in an effort to avoid skirmishes at sea between French and British boats.
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