Brexit: Retired civil servant discusses fishing row
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Brixham Fish Market, in Devon, topped 2020’s £35.8million and the previous £40.3million record from 2017. And contrary to many Remainers predicting that leaving the EU would destroy the UK’s fishing industry, Barry Young, boss of Brixham Trawler Agents, said the port had thrived.
He told the Sun: “Despite the pandemic and Brexit rumours we’ve seen our sales to domestic markets and exports to the EU increase nicely.
“The positive story is well reflected in these record sales numbers.”
Anthony Mangnall – the Tory MP for Totnes – said: “It shows the opportunities and benefits to can be found as an independent trading nation.”
The news emerged shortly after a change in post-Brexit fishing rules will increase the minimum percentage of British crew members that must be on board vessels to 70 percent.
In another boost for the UK’s industry, the quota will jump from 50 to 70 percent.
This will mean that more fish can be sold and processed in the UK in a major win for the sector.
Fishing boats that fail to meet the landing or crewing requirement will have to donate quota.
This will increase from 16.5 percent to 20 percent this year, with the UK Government looking to increase the current threshold “over time”.
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The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) said it will create jobs and provide an economic boost to the UK’s coastal communities following Brexit.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said nearly 12 months on from the trade deal between the UK and EU, “a positive pictyure is emerging for our fishing industry”.
He insisted the new investment “marks a period of rejuvenation for our fishing industry”.
Mr Eustice said: “A year on from the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, a positive picture is emerging for our fishing industry.
“Today, we are announcing a £65 million infrastructure scheme which will allow us to modernise ports and harbours and increase capacity and efficiency at processing facilities.
“A £10 million fund will encourage new entrants into the processing, catching and aquaculture sectors, and train and upskill those in the industry.
“We are committed to levelling up coastal communities across the UK, and this marks a period of rejuvenation for our fishing industry.”
Last month the EU also reached an agreement with Boris Johnson’s Government over the allocation of fisheries reserves.
Taking to Twitter at the time, EU Commissioner for Fisheries Virginia Cincinnatius said: “We have an agreement with Great Britain on fishing opportunities until 2022.”
He added that the agreement, signed on December 21 “covers all fisheries (regions) managed together in Anglo-European waters and is based on the best available scientific information”.
This is the first fishing agreement the UK has signed with the EU since Brexit.
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