Brexit: Fishing industry was 'sacrificed' by government says Deas
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They claimed French fishermen have been known to unload fish from lorries and set fire to it if “they don’t get their way” during ongoing hostilities between the two nations. Skipper James “Chunky” Chown, who is based at Newlyn Harbour in Cornwall, told iNews: “The first time we tried to land pollock in Roscoff, Brittany, we were told to go over to Brest, apparently for no reason whatsoever.
“The French seem to enjoy these new regulations.
“We lost about £12,000 worth of fish that day. These days we don’t land in France at all.
“We were the first boat to land in France after Brexit. Complications were immediately there. The French can be very militant.
“If they don’t get their way, they’ve been known to unload fish from lorries and pour diesel on them, set them on fire.”
Speaking a year after Britain unshackled itself from the EU, Cornish fisherman say they were “sold a dream” in Brexit negotiations.
Under the Trade and Co-Operation Agreement (TCA), EU fishing quotas will be reduced by 25 percent by 2026.
It is estimated UK boats will have access to an extra £145million of fishing quota each year.
At the end of the five year adjustment period, there will be annual talks to set catch limits and, theoretically, the UK could decide to completely withdraw access.
But Paul Trebilcock, manager at Cornish fishing company, Ocean Fish, said he believed UK fishermen were now a “little worse off” despite Brexit.
He said: “Senior people from the Government came down here and made us promises.
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“We had Michael Gove standing here on the harbour telling us we would have greater control of our seas, and a greater share of fish.
“Nothing has changed. We’re pretty much in the same position as we were before.
“Maybe we’re a little worse off.”
Britain and France have been locked in a row over fishing after the UK and the EU agreed to set up a licensing system to grant fishing vessels access to each other’s waters when Britain left the bloc.
Under the Brexit trade deal, EU fishing boats can carry on fishing in British waters if they obtain a licence, but they need to prove that they fished there before.
Fisheries are required to provide proof of catching in the waters at least one day a year between 2012 and 2016 to be eligible for a licence.
But France said it had not been given the full number it is due, while Britain claimed only those lacking the correct documentation have not been granted.
This escalated when France threatened to ask the EU to begin litigation proceedings and President Emmanuel Macron repeatedly warned he is willing to cause havoc with Britain’s supply chains by slowing down customs checks at ports unless more licences for access to UK waters are granted.
However, officials in London showed flexibility by allowing vessels that have been replaced due to old age to still be allowed licences despite the lack of historic data.
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