Brexit fishing row erupts as Habib lashes out at EU expert: ‘Boris sold us down the drain’

Ben Habib fires warning over ‘reality’ of fishing control

Ben Habib believes the Prime Minister has failed to keep his pledge to take back control – stressing Mr Johnson had nobody to blame but himself for the anger voiced by many in the industry. Responding to EU expert Anand Menon, Mr Habib, one of 29 MEPs elected to the European Parliament in 2019, tweeted: “The problems with fishing cannot be blamed on Brexit.

“If @BorisJohnson had kept his promise of taking back full control the EU would have no option but to buy our fish.

“His deal allows them to come into our waters and take what they like.

“The problem: his ‘deal’.”

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Mr Habib added: “It’s akin to a shop owner inviting customers to take what they like for free and then wondering why they won’t buy the merchandise.

“The govt sold our fishermen down the drain. Not Brexit; their ‘deal.”

Mr Habib criticised the deal when speaking to earlier this month.

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He said: “It’s a disaster of a document.

“And we were in the EU for 47 years – and yet our Parliament was given 48 hours to approve an agreement that was of mammoth constitutional importance.

“It just stinks – I can’t bear it, it’s not good.

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Both sides have agreed to transfer 25 percent of EU boats’ fishing rights to the UK fishing fleet over the course of a five-year period.

Representatives of the UK fishing industry have voiced deep concerns.

Barrie Deas, CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations said in December: “When push came to shove, despite the legal, moral and political strength of our case, fishing was sacrificed for other national objectives.

“Lacking legal, moral, or political negotiating leverage on fish, the EU made the whole trade
deal contingent on a UK surrender on fisheries.

“In the end-game, the Prime Minister made the call and caved in on fish, despite the rhetoric and assurances that he would not do what Ted Heath did in 1973.”

Jeremy Percy, the chairman of the New Under Tens Fishing Association, told “There will be no change after 5.5 years despite what they say.

There will be no change after 5.5 years despite what they say.

“I’ve had loads of calls from inshore fishermen, ranging from tears to despair.

“An almost complete capitulation so nothing much else to say.”

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