BREXIT talks over fishing could spill over into 2021 if no agreement is reached with the EU.

The National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations (NFFO) said the UK may follow previous patterns of negotiation seen between Norway and the bloc, where they have failed to reach an annual agreement in time and have extended their discussions.

UK negotiators are seeking an arrangement with the EU similar to that which it has with Norway, where an agreement is made every year on fishing quotas.

Access to each others waters is not an automatic right,a nd is also part of the annual talks.

Fishing has become a politically-charged issue throughout the Brexit discussions between Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator, and his UK counterpart David Frost.

So far, both sides say little progress has been made.

Barrie Deas, NFFO Chief executive, said that elements of the Brexit transition "may take decades to work out" adding that fears the fishing industry could be "sold out as we were in the 1970's" have not gone away.

Speaking at a briefing this morning, Mr Deas said there was an "appreciation that the fishing industry in the UK got a very,very bad deal" on entry into the EU and now "there's an opportunity to fix that."

He explained: "Fishing has a symbolism that gives it a special status, and that's why I think fishing has gone to the top of the list of priorities, because in some ways it's a litmus test for for Brexit.

"We will know very soon, we will know this year, whether we've got a good deal on fishing or not whereas some of the other aspects to Brexit will take, you know, years, maybe, decades to work out."

When asked what could happen if no agreement is reached on fishing stocks or trade between the UK and EU, he said that discussions would likely continue into the new year.

He explained that in a situation where no framework had been agreed, and no annual agreement had been decided, "the most likely thing to happen then is for the talks to spill over into the new year and for some kind of annual agreement to be patched up early New Year."

He continued: "That is a quite, I wouldn't say a common precedent but there has been precedence where the EU and the Norway have failed to get agreement, and in those circumstances they don't have access to each other's waters, and that tends to concentrate minds so there would be some kind of agreement patched up."

The fishing chief added that it was a "legal requirement" for both sides to "work collaboratively" and said: " I think ultimately that that will prevail."