Sky News’ Adam Parsons accompanied French fishermen as they sailed in British waters to catch fish. Mr Parsons spoke with some members of France‘s fishing industry and exposed their fears regarding the future of their trade and the impact Brexit could have on their sector. Mr Parsons spoke to Emilie, a lobster seller whose husband catches fish in UK waters who detailed plans to continue seeking catch around Britain regardless of whether the UK Government agrees to it or not.
She said that she hoped French fishermen will battle to fish in the UK regardless of any agreement struck between Brussels and London during the Brexit negotiations.
Lobster seller Emilie said: “Knowing our fishermen they better warn the police over there.
“They will go out fishing regardless, they won’t get killed off.
“Already, here in France, we are under huge restrictions on fishing, which doesn’t apply to other European countries.
“We can’t fish certain species and others can, we can’t sell crab claws, but you go over to Holland and they can sell them.
“What does that mean? Why do the French have more restrictions than others?
“It is as if the French fishing industry is being allowed to die out.
“But the foreign industry is allowed to survive? That is not normal.
“So I hope they are going to go to battle and that they continue to fish in British waters, whether they like it or not.”
Another French fisherman admitted a potential change to the current fishing agreement makes him nervous.
Fisherman Laurent Merlin said: “We are really frightened that a hard Brexit will prevent us from fishing in British waters.
“The majority of our fishing happens in these waters, so for us, that would be the end of our jobs.
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“I spend 70 percent of the year fishing in British waters, with both my nets and my lobster traps.
“If we can no longer come here, we’ll have to stop working.
“The alternative would be that we all end up in French waters, alongside trawlers and Belgian fishing vessels and it will become impossible to work.”
Face-to-face Brexit trade talks are expected to resume this week between the UK and EU after the previous two rounds of negotiations had to be conducted virtually because of the coronavirus.
While little progress has been made in way of a trade agreement, both sides have vowed to energise the negotiations and work quickly to an amicable conclusion.