For a nation with links to the sea as strong as the UK, nothing raises such visceral protectiveness as our territorial waters and fish. Oh sure we can get a little bit excited about the economic benefits of passporting for the City, but it simply doesn't raise the blood to battle as does the prospect of a Dutch trawler stealing our cod. Gaining economic sovereignty (I won't say regaining) of our 200 mile commercial limit in 2019 is therefore a big deal.
For UK fishing fleets to take up the catches currently taken from our waters by the EU27 will take time. Boats must be built, crews must be trained, shore facilities must be expanded - and most importantly, vessels to patrol and police our waters from foreign poachers must be built and crewed. If new keels are not laid this month, we simply won't have the last capacity in March 2019.
I'm not surprised that the EU27 want to hold onto their right to take British fish during the 2-year transition period, nor that the government seem prepared to concede this. If not the CFP then some form of licencing would realistically have been needed to allow continental fleets to wind-down their operations. However, our lost licence fee income from these two years must be deducted from the financial settlement - after 2019 they'll be taking our fish, not a common EU fish stock.
And one measure we can take, one piece of legislation we can prepare, is to reverse the judgement in Factortame. Requiring red duster flagged vessels to have a majority of UK national owners would at least halt the despoliation of stun fishing, and ensure that within reasonable time the full economic benefits would return to the United Kingdom.