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ITV reporter Rupert Evelyn spoke to British fishermen on the future of the UK fishing industry. One skipper argued that France could prove trouble for the UK, provided a mutually satisfactory fishing Brexit trade deal isn’t agreed. While another added that the UK needed to ensure that it could get a good fishing deal for British fishermen.
Mr Evelyn said: “Skipper David Stevens tells me he is happy to share the sea but expects more from it.
“If an agreement cannot be reached by the EU then he is content to navigate through a storm.
“This is as their fleet faces up to reduced access to UK waters.”
The fisherman highlighted one of his biggest fears as the Brexit transition period comes to an end.
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He said: “The French will always be the ones to cause the biggest amount of trouble.
“But I think we are well prepared for a few months of disruption.
“I think the industry is pretty sensible, we may have January, February and March of maybe some disruption but we are well prepared for it.”
Another fisherman argued that while he hopes for a trade deal with the EU, without one, Brussels would understand what is needed to satisfy the UK.
Fisherman James Hellewell said: “If we leave without a deal, both sides will realise what is needed and things will work out better.”
Mr Hellewell also defended Britain’s firm stance on fishing rights in trade talks with the EU.
He said: “You can’t have a business and give more than half to somebody else.
“It has got to be a more level playing field.”
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The ITV host closed by saying: “In theory, the UK fishing industry can only gain from the negotiations, financially at least.
“But the UK benefit comes at EU cost and that is the catch that threatens agreements.”
Brexit trade deal talks with the EU have resumed this week with many hopeful a trade deal can be agreed swiftly.
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