Fisherman tells James O'Brien Brexit deal is "total lunacy" for UK fisheries

15 January 2021, 13:24

By Fiona Jones

Caller Robin has been in the industry for 45 years - he explains to LBC that voting for Brexit in the name of fishing is "total lunacy."

British fisherman have accused Boris Johnson of dishonesty and betrayal over his fishing deal.

There are "chaotic" scenes at the borders as lorry-loads of live seafood and fish destined for restaurants and shops in Europe are being rejected because they are taking too long to arrive due to post-Brexit bureaucracy.

Despite this, Jacob Rees-Mogg's response to the crisis was to say that the fish are “better and happier” because they are “now British” after Brexit.

Robin said: "To fix this, there is only one fix: we must rejoin the customs union and the single market, it's that simple. It's not complicated, that is the bottom line."

In the meantime, he said, fishermen must work extremely hard to fill in the necessary paperwork.

"The biggest problem we have at the moment is UK customs are just not up to speed," Robin said, explaining that the two systems designed to work in conjunction to provide certification of entry are not marrying up.

James said, "The problem is the entire project was built on abolishing red tape and the people who promised that we were going to abolish red tape are in charge of ensuring we understand what all the new red tape is going to involve."

"The law makers are incompetent, that's the bottom line," said Robin, "the problem is the systems that are in place cannot help you."

James listed the two "ultimate ironies": "Part of the reason why we are negotiating the red tape so badly is because the law-makers are there because they told us they are going to be abolishing red tape.

"The second thing is the people best placed to help get us out of this mess, and you are the embodiment of this phenomenon if you'd allow me to say...are the people who've been shouting the loudest about the idiocy of getting into it in the first."

Robin said if law-makers had looked into it and then informed accurately what the outcome of Brexit would entail "I'm actually sure that nobody would have voted for it - it is total lunacy."