British fishing communities were among the strongest supporters of leaving the European Union because it promised the chance for the UK to leave the bloc’s complex system of fishing quotas and regain control over who is allowed to fish in British waters. That is likely to be maintained if there is an overall post-Brexit economic deal. As fishing is a devolved policy, the way the quota is managed differs around the UK. Lorry drivers have been holding up the traffic in Westminster. Ministers are finalising plans for a £100million post-Brexit package to revive Britain's fishing fleet to help land catches normally taken by France and the Netherlands. And yet fishing has cast a huge net over the Brexit trade talks from the beginning. The UK Government has been accused of not contacting Holyrood before the Prime Minister announced compensation for the fishing communities hit by Brexit. More than a dozen large lorries — one bearing the words “Brexit carnage!” — drove past the Houses of Parliament in central London and parked outside Downing Street, home to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. They were horrified at what they found. A few days later and the first rumblings of disquiet could be heard. They had used the desperation of our fishing industries and the communities that rely on them, they had got what they wanted and they had no further use for our people. Now the government says there will be support, but there is no detail, and many fear this support will be insufficient – and bound in red tape and restrictions. Those closer to the negotiation will tell you that Europe adviser David Frost and his team understood their brief. In reality he somehow delivered a cut on those in our fishing industry had been previously allowed to catch. Somehow Boris Johnson had achieved a deal worse than the hated Common Fisheries Policy. It was maybe not quite as good as “that bus” but, as photo ops go, Nigel Farage and Kate Hoey perched on the front of a trawler sailing up the Thames was pretty memorable. Rhetoric that government will develop gold standard fisheries is ‘a joke’, campaigners say Read our full mailing list consent terms here. The prime minister mumbled vague promises of compensation when confronted in a Commons committee and left his subordinates to match a hasty, defensive answer with reality. Brexit supporters say fisheries are a symbol of sovereignty and fishing grounds in British waters should be primarily for British fishing crews. People walk past a fishing boat on the beach in Hastings. Come Christmas Eve, Johnson declared himself a conquering hero. But how did an industry that makes up only 0.1% of the UK economy become such a big deal? The government has been accused of making a "U-turn" on a pledge by the PM to compensate fishing businesses hit by post-Brexit export problems. Delivering on the sweeping promises made to fishermen and women was always going to require massive political will, political will that Boris Johnson and his Vote Leave gang never intended to work for. Alistair Carmichael is a Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland, Fishing industry protest outside Parliament, against post-Brexit red tape in London, January 18, 2021. The current fisheries minister (in fairness, never a Brexiteer) sought to push the blame for the broken promises onto the fishermen and women themselves for “dreaming big”. Their desperation was understandable – even if old hands in the industry knew that delivering these promises would require political will of the sort never previously evident. Fisheries are one of the major points of contention in the attempts by the European Union and the United Kingdom to find a post-Brexit trade agreement. 1-min read. Trucks owned by Britain's fishing sector descended on Westminster on Monday to protest against the Brexit red tape they claim is suffocating their businesses. Fishing firms in the UK and Europe have been hit with massive disruption in the 17 days since Britain left the EU, with post-Brexit red tape causing delays and confusion at ports. For trade in fish, where freshness commands a premium, this has been fatal. Fishing industry leaders have voiced discomfort with the Brexit trade deal, after a compromise was forged over one of the most contentious issues in negotiations. The fishing industry has been “sacrificed” in order to secure the post- Brexit trade deal, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) said. While fishing is a tiny part of the economy on both sides of the Channel, it carries big political weight. 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