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THE government was urged to apologise today for pushing fishing firms to the brink of “collapse” through its Brexit deal with the European Union.
Shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard added that the sector had “lost trust and confidence” in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Speaking in the Commons, he said: “Fishing boats are tied up, fish exporters are tied up with red tape.
“Fishing was promised a sea of opportunity, but the reality is many fishing businesses are on the verge of collapse.
“Much of the so-called extra fish may not even exist or be able to be caught by British boats. The fishing industry feels betrayed.
“Isn’t now the time for the Secretary of State to apologise to the fishing industry for the Brexit deal his government negotiated?”
Environment Secretary George Eustace insisted that the agreement had allowed Britain to “regain control of regulations in our waters.”
Trade is back up to “around 85 per cent of normal volumes,” he claimed, following a challenging start to the year.
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