'I feel for you,' James O'Brien tells fisherman who is 'worse off' due to Brexit

4 February 2021, 11:35

By Sam Sholli

James O'Brien said "I do feel for you" to a fishermen's union chief who confirmed his industry is "worse off" due to Brexit.

It came after the government admitted that exports of live mussels, oysters, scallops and certain other shellfish would be subject to ongoing restrictions, leaving UK fishers "devastated."

Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations, said: "I think that there was a huge opportunity for the UK to reset its relationship with the EU on fishing rights.

"That has been sacrificed as it was in 1973 with Ted Heath, so those fishing rights have been sacrificed and we've got a bad arrangement on trade."

"I do feel for your," James said, telling Mr Deas he thought the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations' members had been "conned".

The LBC host then asked Mr Deas if his members were worse off than they were before Brexit.

He responded: "I think the answer...is that we are worse off, certainly at the moment because the trading relationship hasn't settled down."

Mr Deas also said the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations' members would thought Brexit would make their lives better "probably do" feel conned.

The sentiment chimed with James' phrase he coined during Brexit, which he repeated: "Contempt for the conman, compassion for the conned."

The fishing industry has previously accused Boris Johnson of "betrayal" after the promised “sea of opportunity” following Brexit turned into massive disruption to the sector.

Read more: James O'Brien reacts to 'dire' situation for UK fishermen 'conned' by Brexit deal