Brexit fishing gamble suggests No 10 forgot its economics homework

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Analysis: exasperation as fates and fortunes of large industries reliant on efforts to expand much smaller one

An island nation can be forgiven for a preoccupation with fish. But with less than a month until the UK’s trade with the EU moves to new rules – whether under a deal or no-deal scenario – it is possible that continuing attempts to gain a win for British fishing industry could scupper much larger parts of the UK economy.

Fishing is politically charged issue on both sides of the Channel. Boris Johnson has talked of the UK becoming “an independent coastal state” and exploiting the “recapture of our spectacular natural marine wealth”, while Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has warned the UK against using fish as a “bargaining chip” (apparently not a pun on Britain’s national dish). Meanwhile, far bigger industries in the UK economy are left waiting.

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