Brexit – it seems to have been on our radar for years – and just when we all thought we would be out of the EU next year whether we voted Leave or Remain, we now find that there will be a further 21-month transition period for British fishermen.
Nowhere will the impact of that near two-year extension be felt worse than in the fishing industry.
When Britan leaves the EU on March 29, 2019, Britain’s fishermen will still have to bow to the laws of Europe.
Within the transition period Britain will still be within the Common Fisheries Policy.
Fishermen are so incensed by prime minister Theresa May’s deal that they are set to amass an armada of boats off the coast of Portsmouth to protest against the arrangements – which will coincide with other protests around the country. Fishermen will let their thoughts be known and will be burning EU flags in protest.
Fishermen believe they have been one of the industries hardest hit by Britain’s membership of the EU as the Common Fisheries Policy gives all European fishing fleets access to EU waters.
But they believe this latest kick in the teeth will leave them ‘vulnerable and exploited’ as they won’t have a say on what they can and cannot do.
As one fisherman said: ‘This is about the trade that holds coastal communities together.
‘We’ve been let down badly.
‘We’re the only industry tied up in this transitional deal, no-one else.
‘We’ve got no seat at the table – effectively we’re vulnerable to being exploited.’
All British fishermen want to be able to do is make an honest living and they feel they have been unfairly hampered by EU policy.
They want British waters to be returned to ensure the sustainability of fishing communities in the UK.