MP says post-Brexit deal is 'bad' for local fishermen


Fishing has been a huge sticking point for coastal communities like Lowestoft. - Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

A local MP has said that a post-Brexit deal was 'bad' for local fishermen as repercussions begin to be felt.

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney and chair of the Renaissance of East Anglian Fisheries has said that parts of the deal favour European fleets, which undermine the legitimacy of local fishing fleets.

The debate over fishing rights between the UK and EU has carried significant political weight, with a key tenet of the Leave Campaign's message in 2016 focusing on 'taking back control of UK waters'.

The deal means 25pc of EU boats' fishing rights in UK waters will be transferred to the UK over five years with the government believing this is fair as the 'adjustment period' gives EU fleets time to get used to the new arrangements.

 Waveney Suffolk Conservative MP Peter Aldous Photo: UK Parliament

Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Photo: UK Parliament - Credit: UK Parliament

But Mr Aldous said: “There is no denying that the Trade and Co-operation Agreement with the EU was a bad deal for the East Anglian fishing industry.

“Whilst it is disappointing that the government are yet to set out a compelling national vision for the future of English fishing, it is heartening that work is being done at 'grassroots' level by organisations such as REAF to produce plans for the future of the fishing industry in local areas, such as off the East Anglian coast.

"These can be incorporated in Fisheries Management Plans, which are an important feature of the Fisheries Act."


Peter Aldous feels the current fishing deal undermines local fishermen. - Credit: Nick Butcher

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But Mr Aldous went on to say that there is still hope for the local fishing industry if the government take action.

“If this opportunity is grasped, fishing can play an important role in the future of local economies all around the coast, including in Lowestoft," he said.

"A tardy start has been made to the UK regaining its position as an Independent Coastal State and we now need to urgently make up for lost time."

This all comes as the recent fishing row with France begins to dissipate as French President Emmanuel Macron decided not to push ahead with a dispute with the UK over post-Brexit fishing licences for French fleets to fish in UK waters.

He had warned that Paris could block British boats from landing their catches in French ports and tighten customs checks but the U-turn from France has been welcomed by the UK government.