MP urges government not to compromise on fishing during EU negotiations
- Credit: Archant
An MP has urged the government to not compromise on fishing as trade talks with the EU over Brexit continue.
Peter Aldous, Conservative MP for Waveney, has argued that the renaissance of the East Anglian fishing industry depends on there being more fish in ports such as Lowestoft.
This, he believes, would provide a framework for investment and processing for the local area.
Addressing Mr Aldous in the Commons, MP for Portsmouth North Penny Mordaunt confirmed the negotiating team is working hard with the EU as fishing is a huge sticking point for coastal communities.
Speaking to this newspaper, Mr Aldous said: “The UK’s departure from the Common Fisheries Policy provides a once in a generation opportunity to revive the Lowestoft and East Anglian fishing industry, in a way that will benefit local people, bringing new jobs to our area.
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"We should also be putting in place a new system of managing our fisheries that is responsible and sustainable, which will safeguard this precious national resource for the benefit of future generations.
"The recently enacted Fisheries Act does provide the framework within which to achieve this exciting vision, but the prerequisites are for more fish to be landed and then processed locally and the promotion of investment in ports and the processing sector.
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"The decline of the local fishing industry has taken place over 40 years and we won’t put right the mistakes of the past overnight.
"However there is the prospect of an exciting future, though a great deal of work lies ahead and there is a need for all interested parties to work together.”
But for former Brexit Party MEP and member of Lowestoft Fish Market Alliance June Mummery, fishing should no longer be a sticking point in negotiations, as the government has had five years already to iron out these details.
She said: "Once we leave the EU this is a golden opportunity for our coastal communities. If government fails, the aspirations and dreams of these communities will be shattered.
"People were told they would have sovereignty and an independent UK state and this they should get.
"The government has had five years to iron this out and if it abandons the most sustainable and renewable resource at the last minute it will have failed coastal communities like Lowestoft."