Michael Gove sparks outrage after ‘jettisoning’ Brexit trade deal promise for UK fishermen

Brexit: Fishing deal slammed by Habib and Mummery

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On Christmas Eve, Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a zero-tariffs trade agreement with the European Union, days before the end of the transition period. But earlier in December, Mr Gove promised Britain would be outside of the Common Fisheries Policy after Brexit.

Days after the agreement was signed, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove insisted Britain would get a greater share of the fish in UK waters.

The Trade and Corporation Agreement was signed-off by Boris Johnson at the end of December and outlined EU fishing quotas would be reduced over the next five years.

Since January, the UK fishing industry has been hit with additional checks on sending stocks to Europe, and fishing chiefs argue the deal in practice gives EU boats continued access to UK waters.

Former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib tweeted: “So at what point was this promise jettisoned @michaelgove @borisjohnson?”

Mr Johnson’s Brexit trade deal has been widely criticised and has been dubbed “diabolical” by former MEP for East of England, June Mummery.

She tweeted: “I have said many times the deal is diabolical, but the lies and spin from this Government is appalling and upsets me very much.

“I have been called naive, stupid, thick, dumb, you name it.

“I have been called it because I did believe Boris Johnson and company, I do trust people.”

In Mr Johnson’s agreement, a compromise was reached for EU quotas to be cut by 25 percent by 2026.

The UK left the controversial EU Common Fisheries Policy and has since encountered further problems regarding the export of shellfish.

Britain is now being treated as a third country by the bloc and must adhere to strict health rules when shipping oysters, mussels, clams, cockles and scallops.

They must now undergo the expensive process of being purified and be accompanied by health certificates before being sent to the continent.

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The UK Government was previously told the measures would only last until April 21 – but the European Commission has outlined plans to make it permanent.

In December, Mr Gove, the former Environment Secretary, insisted when the UK left the EU, Britain would be an “independent coastal state, in full control of our water”.

Former chief Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost has replaced Michael Gove as Cabinet Office Minister and is set to hold talks with EU chiefs on Monday to iron out issues with the bloc.

Lord Frost will also chair the EU-UK joint committee and has been tasked to “maximise the opportunities” of a post-Brexit Britain.

These talks are believed to focus on the barriers to trade experiences in Northern Ireland, which remains part of the EU’s Single Market.

Tensions between Northern Ireland and the Republic escalated following Brexit as the EU triggered Article 16, which was quickly U-turned.

Earlier this month, Lord Frost admitted the relationship between the two sides has been “more than bumpy” and more “problematic”.

He also called for “a different spirit” from Brussels going forward.

Speaking to a Lords committee on the EU, Lord Frost said the UK wanted a “friendly cooperation between sovereign equals as our vision of the future”.

He added: “I don’t think it has been quite the experience of the last few weeks if we are honest about it.

“I think the EU is still adjusting somewhat, as we thought they might, to the existence of a genuinely independent actor in their neighbourhood.”

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