Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called on the Government to give “answers and action” on the emerging frustrations fishermen have with the Prime Minister’s deal with the EU. After months of promising to “take back control of our waters”, the deal has in fact left UK fishing boats with access to fewer fishing opportunities for the UK fleet. Mr Carmichael called on ministers to explain themselves urgently in Parliament, and to outline steps taken to mitigate growing disruption to seafood exports to the EU this week.
Mr Carmichael said:
“In the days since Boris Johnson struck his deal it has become increasingly clear that the promises made by the Prime Minister to fishermen have not been kept. Industry figures have said that some parts of the new agreement are even worse than the Common Fisheries Policy that came before it – which takes some doing! None of this had fully come to light when the deal was bulldozed through Parliament last week. So I am calling on ministers to come to Parliament and explain how they plan to make good the losses to fishermen caused by their backtracking.”
Turning to export disruption faced by seafood exporters this week, Mr Carmichael said:
“It is also vital that we get answers and action from the Government on the more immediate challenges fishermen are finding in getting their product to market since the start of January. Whatever the root cause – I have heard of health certificate delays, Covid testing problems and barcode issues all cited. Fishermen and their trading partners need confidence that they can get out and land their catch without disruption.
“I know industry leaders have been doing their part to fix these problems – we should hear from the Government as well.”