“The key is that we have our fish back: they are now British fish, and they are better and happier fish for it,” he said.
Treated with scornful contempt, and rightly so, by Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker, who observed that there was “no overwhelming evidence” to justify such a glib – even juvenile – assertion, it was greeted with incredulity by those fishing fleets who, frankly, believe they have been sold down the proverbial river by Brexit backers like the cretinous Mr Rees-Mogg.
And if Mr Rees-Mogg is so confident in the new arrangements, perhaps he’d take the courtesy to make a Zoom call to the 100-strong crew of the Kirkella which remains moored in Hull’s docks until quota negotiations between the Government, European Union and Norway have been concluded.
A boat which is responsible for eight per cent of all fish sold in chip shops up and down the country, the grievance is not so much Brexit – the outcome of the referendum of five years ago is accepted – but that Ministers ignored all previous warnings about the importance of the issue until relatively recently.
That’s not ‘taking back control’, the regular refrain of Brexiteers. It is a dereliction of duty given the importance that they attached to fishing policy in talks with the EU. For, every day vessels like the Kirkella are not at sea, the harder it becomes to salvage the UK’s fishing industry and help it to flourish. That’s the catch, Mr Rees-Mogg.
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