Wednesday 13 January 2021 6:00 pm

Boris Johnson vows to reimburse fishermen hit by Brexit 'teething problems'

Boris Johnson has vowed to reimburse Scottish fishermen facing post-Brexit disruption and said current difficulties were only “teething problems”.

The Prime Minister told a Westminster committee today that he understood “the frustrations of the fishing community” and that it will only be “a temporary frustration”.

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British seafood exporters have been hit by two weeks of disruptions since the UK left the Brexit transition period on 31 December.

Scottish fish companies are particularly finding it challenging, with many having problems getting approval to trade into Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, which is a major hub for seafood sales in Europe.

A number of companies have had to delay or cancel shipments as a result.

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Speaking to parliament’s Liaison Committee, the Prime Minister said: “I understand the frustrations of the fishing community and Scottish fishermen and women who are facing what I believe is a temporary frustration.

“We will compensate those fishing businesses, but there is a massive opportunity for Scotland and the whole of the UK with the increase in quotas we get from the [Brexit trade] deal.

“Twenty-five per cent before the end of the transition period, hundreds of thousands of tonnes more fish and the ability to fish all the fish in Scottish waters form the end of that period.”

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Johnson’s Brexit trade deal sees EU countries maintain 75 per cent of its pre-Brexit access to UK fishing waters for five-and-a half years as a part of a transition period.

Fishing access to British waters will then be negotiated annually after this point.

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