Brexit exposes incompetence

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Jacky O’Callaghan

Elphick Road

Newhaven

In 2016 a Parliamentary report recognised that access to EU markets was critical for UK fishermen – 75% of the UK catch goes to the EU.

By contrast, most imported fish for UK tastes (cod, salmon, tuna, prawns) can easily be supplied by non-EU countries such as Iceland, Norway and Indian Ocean countries.

Continued access to EU fish consumers is vital for UK fishermen.

The average WTO tariff for prepared fish (eg cod fillet) is 40% and for unprepared fish 9%.

It is depressing to see in 2018 Michael Gove and Maria Caulfield (July 27) concerned with quotas, when the real issue is sales into the EU.

Industrial fishing fleets such as Shetland (20% of UK catch) can sell worldwide.

Artisanal fishing fleets (Newhaven) need local markets willing to pay good prices.

UK cannot trade access to UK market for EU fishing fleets in return for UK access to EU markets as they buy our fish and we largely do not buy their fish.

The Government strategy seems to be to deny EU fleets access to UK fish and force them to buy more fish from UK fleets.

It is far too late, as over 50% of the English quota has been sold to foreign owned vessels and one Spanish ship now owns 88% of the Welsh quota!

One more example how Brexit is exposing historic and present UK government incompetence.