Brexit: Cornwall fisherman discusses potential outside EU
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One trawlerman said it is simply “not right in this day and age” that foreign boats could plunder UK waters so close to the nation’s coast. Another told of how vessels from the continent sail into British seas to “spend a lot of time between the six and the 12 miles off the Cornish coast.”
EU fishermen are permitted to fish up to the six-mile limit from UK coastlines, even though it is within Britain’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Under the Prime Minister’s post-Brexit trade deal, little will change in terms of fishing rights in the UK over the next five years.
In June 2026, EU boats will see their catch reduced by 25 percent.
This falls drastically short of the 60 percent the UK initially demanded until the last week of negotiations in December.
June Mummery, a former Brexit Party MEP who has long campaigned for more rights for British fishermen, hit out at the Government in light of Cornish fishermens’ concerns.
She tweeted: “@BorisJohnson @michaelgove what have you done, this betrayal to the industry and coastal communities is not acceptable.
“What other country would hand over its waters?”
She said coastal communities had been “royally shafted” under the Prime Minister’s deal, which he trumped as a major win for fishermen in Britain.
She added: “I was talking to some fisherman today and like we said this betrayal is worse than the betrayal Heath did back in the day.
“Coastal Communities needed this resource back, seaside towns are so deprived of work, opportunity and hope.”
She was referring to former Prime Minister Ted Heath who took the UK into the European Economic Community in 1973.
Speaking to the BBC about the reality of post-Brexit fishing, Cornish fishermen laid bare their anger at having to watch foreign vessels plunder their local waters.
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On BBC2’s Cornwall: This Fishing Life, one fisher exposed massive advantages Europeans still enjoy after the UK left the EU.
He said: “The French and Belgian boats are big modern boats that can fish in most weather any time of the year inside our 12-mile limit up to the six-mile limit which is not right, not in this day and age.”
A second fisherman said: “We are not allowed to fish within 12 miles of the French coast or any other coast come to that so why are they allowed to fish to our six?
“And it doesn’t sound like a lot but they spend a lot of time between the six and the 12 miles off the Cornish coast and they catch a lot of fish.”
Some Britons reacted furiously to their comments.
One man said the French would “for sure” not give the same privileges to British boats.
He added: “When Boris calls the EU our friends and partners it makes my skin crawl.”
A second person said: “Terrible betrayal. Gets worse the more it is examined.
“How can @michaelgove and @BorisJohnson just stand by and do absolutely nothing?”
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