Under the Brexit trade deal agreed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the European Union‘s share of the catch from British waters will fall by 25 percent in stages over the next five years. Following the end of that fishing transition period in June 2026, both sides will hold talks annually to discuss access. But UK fishermen have complained of having to desperately fight their way through endless bureaucratic red tape that has smothered them in the six months since the trade deal was agreed.
Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat MP for major coastal constituency Orkney and Shetland, has issued a “call for evidence” ahead of a parliamentary debate he is leading on the impact of Brexit on the fishing industry on July 13.
He will present a wide range of concerns and challenges raised by fishermen, processors and exporters since the new fishing deal came into effect.
But Mr Carmichael has launched a furious attack against the Government over their treatment of the UK fishing industry since the country severed all ties with the EU.
In a firm warning, he told Express.co.uk: “The material I have from the fishing industry illustrates a comprehensive failure from the Government.
“Every fisherman, every processor and every exporter I have spoken to in the past months has presented me with a litany of frustrations with the government.
“These run the gamut, from lost markets due to trade barriers, unfulfilled promises over quota uplift or simply lack of access to needed worker support.
“The list is long but ministers have not listened. After six months, the coming debate is a chance to change the narrative – and make our voices heard.”
He added: “The questions will be short and to the point and will demand answers.
“If ministers don’t answer, it will be glaringly obvious to the rest of the world they have failed to live up to promises they had made.
“They will have to understand this is something that won’t go away due to the anger in fishing industries by the way they have been treated.
“They will have to eventually come up with answers.”
Mr Carmichael said based on the evidence he has received from fishermen Cornwall up to Peterhead in Scotland, “the fishing industry is overwhelmingly feeling used”.
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He claims Government ministers have almost abandoned the sector as “they have got what they wanted from the industry”.
The Liberal Democrat MP continued: “The fishing industry is overwhelmingly feeling used.
“A year ago, you couldn’t find a harbour in the country that didn’t have a Tory politician standing on the deck of a trawler posing for pictures.
“That was when they had something to get from the industry.
“They have got what they wanted from the industry.
“Now the fishing industry wants something in return – delivery on the promises.”