Brexit news: Boris accused of “using” the fishing industry as tensions explode | Politics | New
Fishing had been a major bone of contention in bitter trade talks between the UK and the EU last year, before an 11-hour deal was signed shortly before the end of the transition period from Brexit. Under Boris Johnson’s trade deal, the EU’s share of UK catches will decline by 25% in stages over the next five years. After this fishing transition period ends in June 2026, the two sides will hold talks annually to discuss access.
But fishermen across the UK have complained about having to work their way through the bureaucratic bureaucracy that choked them after Brexit.
A major problem is that they have found it difficult to export their fish to other EU member states, mainly due to more paperwork and a lack of electronic systems in place to process them, as well as increased product controls.
Any delay in exporting fish, which must remain fresh by the time it reaches its intended destination, can prove extremely costly.
Alistair Carmichael, who has been the Liberal Democrat MP for the main Orkney and Shetland coastal contingencies for the past 20 years, has criticized the Prime Minister and his government for their treatment of the fishing industry.
He told Express.co.uk: “There is a lot of frustration. Boris Johnson and his colleagues have over-promised and under-delivered and they have used the industry.
“With each passing day, it becomes more and more evident that they have used the industry and now they are hoping that the fishing industry would go away and leave them alone, except that is not going to happen.
“The deal we have is the one we’ve been stuck with for at least five years.
“Solving this problem after five years will require significant political will.
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“The UK government campaigned and promised great things for the fishing industry in a debate where no one could deny the industry’s problems.
“They got a lot of support on the promises they made to the fishing industry and now they don’t keep them but still expect that support.”
Carmichael also warned that while fishing industries are “resilient”, exporting fish to the EU is still “overwhelmingly bureaucratic and fishermen need to take note.”
He said a transaction that once took 24 hours now takes 48 hours, so a day must be added to all fish exports, jeopardizing their freshness and adding further financial impact to the scenario.
MP Lib Dem also issued a stern warning to the UK government and concluded: “It is up to the UK government to face the reality of the situation it has created.
“Environment Secretary George Eustice needs to stop pretending that this is all someone else’s fault because most people don’t care whose fault it is, they just want it fixed.
“Many problems, such as the export of fish, can be solved massively by digitizing processes.
“The wheels creak painfully slowly and no one takes it seriously except the fishermen and the merchants who are trying to sell their fish.
“It is the usual complacency of Whitehall.”