Brexit outrage after Tory MP exposes EU’s ‘deliberate’ plot to punish British fishermen
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There is growing outrage among Brexiteers that the EU is trying to sabotage the UK by “deliberately delaying” British exports in Europe. Tory MP Anthony Mangnall suggested this week that exports were being “deliberately delayed” on the European mainland. He said that delays “completely against the UK-EU trade deal” and were crippling British exports, including fisheries.
There have been reports of fishing businesses struggling to get their goods to mainland Europe.
Elspeth Macdonald, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said the fishing sector was experiencing “quite severe problems in the supply chain”.
Boris Johnson said he understood the “temporary frustration” of the fishing industry and promised to provide compensation.
In the Commons this week, Mr Mangnall told Environment Secretary George Eustice that the EU was trying to punish Britain.
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He explained: “British fishermen are now being faced with catch certifies, health certificates, export documentation – all of which is extensive red tape and comes with a cost.
“What are you doing to reduce the bureaucracy?
“And in terms of the reports from the EU that we hearing that customs officials are deliberately delaying British exports on the European mainland.
“What steps are being taken to hold them to account and ensure the EU holds up their side of the deal?”
Mr Eustice told the Commons that he was “looking closely” at the issue, as he blamed “an EU bureaucracy”.
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He added: “The bureaucracy we are having to fill in is designed by the European Union, and in some cases, the forms they have are generic, WTO forms.
“We think that paperwork could be improved and we would like to see the EU agree to engage in that.”
The UK Government has previously pledged it will invest £100m to modernise its fishing industry.
Mr Eustice said he would be consulting on how the money is spent in the next month.
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Mr Eustice added that he believed once the industry was “used to using the paperwork” then trade would “flow normally”.
Mr Mangnall tweeted earlier this week: “Am increasingly concerned by the extreme behaviour shown by EU customs agents.
“I have heard about a gun being drawn on one driver for not having documentation for empty boxes in his van.
“Completely against the UK-EU trade deal & is severely impacting our exports, including fish.”
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