Boris Johnson ‘sacrificed fishing industry’ says June Mummery
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Under the trade deal secured by Boris Johnson in December, the EU was allowed to keep 75 percent of the value of the fish it now catches in UK waters, with 25 percent being returned to British fishermen over the transition period. From 2026, Britain will be able to cut quotas or exclude boats in a zone of 6-12 nautical miles.
It is also believed UK boats will have access to an extra £145million of fishing quota every year by this period.
But Mr Johnson is facing a crisis after Cornish fishermen turn against the Conservative Party ahead of the local elections next month.
One fisherman, Michael Bosustow, said: “We are dying out here – we are all getting older and there aren’t enough youngsters following us.
“We could have got more fish and created a better future for the youngsters.
“It’s a missed opportunity.”
He added: “We are not going to forget when it comes to voting time.
“I don’t feel like they [the Conservatives] deserve my vote at the moment.”
Another Cornish fisherman, Brackan Pearce, said the trade deal signed with the EU in December is a “betrayal”.
He told the Guardian: “They lied to us. They’ve used us to get Brexit.
“Without the boats going up the Thames, Brexit would never have happened.
“It’s a complete sellout.
“It’s a betrayal. The deal we have got is a lose-lose.
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“We have got friction at the borders and they [EU fishing boats] have still got access to our waters.
“I can’t vote Conservative.”
Even Roger Harding, Newlyn’s current Conservative councillor, is not standing again and warned the frustrations of the fishermen may cost his party.
He added: “They will lose votes over it.
“In a way, the fishermen were expecting something that couldn’t be delivered, but certainly there is unhappiness.
“They will be showing their discontent.”
Fishing was one of the main sticking points during negotiations and since the UK’s departure from the bloc, Mr Johnson has been forced to offer a £23million compensation package to the fishing industry.
The Prime Minister admitted there were “teething problems” with the Brexit deal but reassured, “funds have been put in place”.
He said: “Insofar as there are problems at the moment caused by teething problems, people not filling in the right forms or misunderstandings and, when it’s not people’s fault, of course, we’re going to compensate and help out.
“Funds have been put in place to do that, but be in no doubt that there are great opportunities for fishermen across the whole of the UK to take advantage of the spectacular marine wealth of the United Kingdom.”
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