Hidden in an amendment within a huge report on the EU’s Common Fisheries policy, UKIP has discovered an attempt by Brussels to seize control of the UK seabed, owned by the UK Crown: A power grab that should trigger a UK Referendum.

The vast majority of the mineral rich seabed, inside the 12 mile limit of British Territorial Waters, is Crown Estate, or property of the Crown and the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall.

Yet Amendment 63 would permit the EU to claim ownership via a direct power grab, without any consultation or prior approval from British people, the British Parliament or the Queen.

Under David Cameron’s “Referendum Lock” this should be subject to a direct appeal to British voters.

Speaking in the debate in Strasbourg this morning, Stuart Agnew MEP, the UKIP fisheries spokesman, said of the amendment, tabled by a Spanish MEPs,

“The British people, Parliament and Her Majesty the Queen will also be alarmed to discover that Amendment 63 would create a new power without a word of objection by Her Majesty’s Government or the Tories.

“That power is sovereignty over the seabed as opposed to merely controlling the fish in the water above it. Any new power must mean a UK referendum.

“Therefore if this amendment is carried it must be the subject of a UK referendum under Mr Cameron’s ‘referendum lock’.”

Later Mr Agnew said, “If this legislation is passed, then Cameron is duty bound to give us that vote under his own law”.