London – British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said he is “not convinced” that the country’s fishing industry is on the brink of collapse due to regulations that have crippled exports since Britain began post-Brexit trade relations with Europe.
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He said the incidents noted so far are just “teething problems” and said he foresees “huge, sustainable opportunities” under the current working agreement.
“Return of British sovereignty”
The trade and cooperation agreement between Brussels and London that came into force on January 1 stipulates that EU fishing boats must forego some of their fishing rights in British waters.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson celebrated this as a great success for the return of British sovereignty. With Britain’s exit from the EU internal market and the customs union, however, formalities have arisen that complicate trade.
Scottish fishermen, who export a large part of their goods to the EU, have been particularly hard hit. In some cases, exports were completely stopped. A Scottish industry association has written Johnson complaining about problems they feel have been created by the deal.
Some Scottish fishermen have been landing their catch in Denmark to avoid the “bureaucratic system” that exports to Europe now involve, according to Scottish Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing.
Johnson promised compensation to affected fishers in comments this week.
And Raab has said, speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, that the situation will improve.
“The agreement we have struck – short term, medium term and long term – will create huge, sustainable opportunities,” he said.