Brexit: EU 'used Irish border as bargaining tool' says Jenkins
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Speaking to Express.co.uk, former MEP Ben Habib claimed the EU is continuing to plunder the UK’s water right down to the six-mile coastal limit. While European boats are raiding Britain’s waters, he warned the UK has no way of knowing if EU ships are abiding by quota levels within the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, while British ships struggle to export to the continent. Despite UK fishermen receiving an increased quota return from the Brexit deal, Mr Habib warned coastal communities will continue to struggle while EU states continue to profit off Britain’s rich waters.
He said: “Our coastal communities do not need paltry handouts.
“They are not in need of charity. They merely seek to earn an honest day’s wage for their endeavours.
“They cannot do this while EU boats come into our waters and fish them dry.”
While also attacking the EU for continuing to plunder Britain’s waters, Mr Habib claimed Boris Johnson had let down fishermen, and coastal communities.
He added: “Instead of fighting to regain control of our territorial waters, they granted EU boats free access all the way down to our 6-mile limit without any restraints on their fishing methods and no way of knowing if they are abiding by their quota shares.
“To make matters immeasurably worse, they failed to gain free trade to the EU for our own fishermen.
“So EU boats can come into our waters, take what they like for free and yet our own fishermen, catching in the same waters cannot easily export to Europe.
“Make no mistake, the lousy deal our fishermen have received is not a transitionary one.
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“Do not believe government spokesmen when they spout this misrepresentation.
“The only way out of this deal is if the UK is prepared to terminate the entire Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU.
“Given the extreme timidity of our Government, do not expect any robust action from them.”
Following Brexit, fishermen have suffered issues trading with the EU due to a ban on shellfish exports heading to the continent.
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Under the ban, certain shellfish must either be purified or come from unpolluted waters before being exported to the EU.
Due to this, many traders have experienced severe issues with trade although the Government established a £23million fund for shellfish exporters.
A further £100million has also been made available to the industry to help modernise fleets and process fish.
Away from shellfish, fishermen have also criticised the lack of access to the waters around Norway despite signing an agreement with the state.
According to Fisheries UK, British boats have been left tied up as they still have no access to coastal waters around Norway.
In contrast, they argue Norweigian boats continue to fish around the UK’s waters despite the “sea of opportunity” for British fishermen.
Under the Brexit deal, UK fishermen will receive a return of 25 percent over a five-year period until 2026.
After that period, negotiations will then take place on annual basis between the two sides to discuss access and catch levels.
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