Brexit: Fishing deal slammed by Habib and Mummery
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In a scathing assessment, former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib said the agreement has given EU vessels “unfettered access” to UK waters while blocking trade to Europe. Mr Habib shared his comments on Twitter after reacting to an Express.co.uk article where fellow Brexiteer June Mummery branded the deal a “disaster”.
The Trade and Corporation Treaty was signed-off by Boris Johnson at the end of December and outlined EU fishing quotas would be reduced over the next five years.
Since January, the UK fishing industry has been hit with additional checks on sending stocks to Europe, and fishing chiefs argue the deal in practice gives EU boats continued access to UK waters.
In a post on Twitter, Mr Habib wrote: “EU boats have unfettered access to our waters to catch what they like, unchecked and unchallenged.
“Our own fishermen are prohibited from selling their catch to the EU. This is the fishing deal. @DavidHGFrost @MPGeorgeEustice @VictoriaPrentis.”
Speaking on Friday with Mr Habib on the Unlocked_UK media channel, Ms Mummery argued the UK fishing industry has been let down.
She said: “The deal is still there and the deal is a disaster.
“The industry can’t express to anyone, how bad it is, and the mood in the industry is still deflated.”
Ms Mummery added: “We were promised that we would take that full control of our waters and the resource and to have that taken away, taking our aspirations and our opportunities away from us, was a big blow.”
National Federation of Fishing Organisation CEO Barrie Deas has previously branded the deal as the “worst of all worlds”.
Under the terms of the Brexit agreement, EU fishing quotas will be gradually reduced over the five-year adjustment period.
In the agreement a compromise was reached for EU quotas to be cut by 25 percent by 2026.
The UK left the controversial EU Common Fisheries Policy and has since encountered further problems regarding the export of shellfish.
Britain is now being treated as a third country by the bloc and must adhere to strict health rules when shipping oysters, mussels, clams, cockles and scallops.
They must now undergo the expensive process of being purified and be accompanied by health certificates before being sent to the continent.
The UK Government were previously told the measures would only last until April 21 – but the European Commission has outlined plans to make it permanent.
Former chief Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost has replaced Michael Gove as Cabinet Office Minister and hold talks with EU chiefs on Monday to iron out issues with the bloc.
Lord Frost will also Chair the EU-UK joint committee and has been tasked to “maximise the opportunities” of Brexit.
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The talks are set to focus on the barriers to trade experiences in Northern Ireland, which has seen additional checks of goods moving within the UK.
Earlier this month, Lord Frost admitted the relationship between the two sides had been “more than bumpy” and more “problematic” than he had hoped.
He also called for “a different spirit” from Brussels going forward.
Speaking to a Lords committee on the EU, Lord Frost said the UK wanted a “friendly cooperation between sovereign equals as our vision of the future”.
He added: “I don’t think it has been quite the experience of the last few weeks, if we are honest about it.
“I think the EU is still adjusting somewhat, as we thought they might, to the existence of a genuinely independent actor in their neighbourhood.”
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