In the face of mounting concern from fishing businesses about new red tape and paperwork, Luke Pollard directly challenged George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, in a heated exchange in the House of Commons to apologise to fishing communities.
The majority of fish landed in south west ports is exported to customers in the EU, but the Brexit deal has imposed vast amounts of new costly bureaucracy for fishers exporting fish. Government failures to prepare for rules on shellfish exports also mean that shellfish exports from Grade B waters have been halted to the EU putting the world-famous Fal fishery in Cornwall at risk.
“Fishing boats in the south west are tied up alongside while fish exporters are being tied up in new red tape. The promises made to the fishing industry have been broken and south west fishing businesses face going bust because of new costly red tape limiting exports.
“I’ve spoken to enough fishers who have seen their export markets dry up and costs of complying with the Government’s new Brexit red tape make exporting unaffordable.
“If Ministers can’t acknowledge the mess they have created how will they fix it? The Environment Secretary’s refusal to apologise to fishing communities does not suggest he has any idea of the pain the Brexit deal his government negotiated is causing.”