While Britain's exit is expected to have an limited overall impact on the EU, offshore fishermen based in northern France face the grim prospect of losing access to their best waters.

If the yet to be negotiated Brexit terms mean French fishermen must stay out of British waters "one might as well sell the ship", said Xavier Perrotte, the second in command of the Remember, a 23-metre (75-foot) trawler.

The Remember with its eight-man crew sails the roughly 100 kilometres (60 miles) from its home port of Cherbourg in Normandy to waters off the English coast where it pulls in half of its catch.

France's national fishermen's association has already warned the government that Brexit could "very strongly impact" the Brittany, Normandy and northern regions.

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