Dominic Raab defends EU trade deal amid criticism from fishing firms

Dominic Raab insists ministers are trying to fix post-Brexit border ‘teething problems’ as the Scottish fishing industry warns many firms are days from collapse

  • Scottish fishing industry has blamed post-Brexit border checks for long delays
  • Delays at border mean that goods are rotten on arrival when they get to the EU
  • Dominic Raab said Government working to resolve border ‘teething problems’

Dominic Raab today insisted the Government is working hard to resolve post-Brexit border ‘teething problems’ as fishing firms warned they are days from collapse. 

The Scottish fishing industry has blamed new checks and paperwork for delays at UK ports, resulting in goods arriving in the EU rotten and prompting buyers to look elsewhere for new suppliers.

Boris Johnson has said he believes the disruption will only be ‘temporary’ as both sides get used to new arrangements following the end of the transition period. He has also committed to compensating affected businesses.  

Fishing bosses have accused ministers of betraying them in the trade deal between Britain and Brussels. 

But Mr Raab rejected the claims and said the new accord is a ‘great deal for the fishing industry’. 

Scottish fishermen have said post-Brexit border delays mean their goods are arriving in the EU rotten

Responding to the accusation of betrayal, the Foreign Secretary told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘Well no, I don’t accept that. I think this is a great deal for the fishing industry, both short term and long term. 

‘We get control over our fisheries back, full control as an independent coastal state. 

‘There is an immediate 15 per cent uplift in our access to fisheries for the UK sector in the first year, that rises to two thirds in the five year transition period, then we have annual negotiations. 

‘And of course the fishing industry is going to want to increase its capacity to take advantage of those increased stocks and that is why we are putting in £100million to shore up, to strengthen the fishing industry right across the whole of the UK to make sure that this really important opportunity of leaving the EU and leaving the transition period can be properly grasped.’ 

Mr Raab was told that many fishing firms fear they will collapse unless the border issue is resolved quickly.

He replied: ‘I am not convinced that that is a result of the agreement. The agreement we have struck both short term and medium term and long term will create huge sustainable opportunities. 

‘Of course, we have always said as we leave the transition period and with a deal, but even more if we hadn’t had a deal, there will be some teething problems. 

‘We are very focused on working with all of the different sectors, including the fishing industry, to resolve any of these teething problems. 

‘As I said, there is £100million worth of investment going into the UK fishing sector so that these really important opportunities can be grasped.’

Boris Johnson, pictured arriving in Downing Street this morning, has said the border problems will only be ‘temporary’ 

Jamie McMillan, the managing director of Lochfyne Langoustines, told the BBC last week that border delays meant his goods have been ‘rotten on arrival’ in the EU. 

He said: ‘Customers are not buying from us any more – we have become unreliable suppliers. Everybody has stopped buying.

‘This has happened for the past two weeks. We can’t continue this to happen for another week because we will be out of business. We have had no sales to the EU, our biggest market.’

Donna Fordyce, chief executive of Seafood Scotland, said: ‘Some businesses, many of which have been run by families for generations, are now days away from collapse.’  

Source: Read Full Article