Brexit outrage: UK fishing boats treated as foreigners in OWN waters under hated deal

Brexit: Fishing industry was 'sacrificed' by government says Deas

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One industry leader accused UK politicians who have acquiesced to the Northern Ireland Protocol of “stark hypocrisy” – and warned the situation could get worse.

The situation is outlined in a report published by the Campaign for an Independent Britain (CIBUK), featuring research by the Facts4EU think tank.

CIBUK cites as an example Kilkeel in County Down, which faces out to the Irish Sea, and whose harbour shelters the largest fishing fleet in Northern Ireland.

If the Protocol were to operate in the way that the bloc visualises it, any trawler registered and based in Kilkeel setting off and catching its legitimate quota in British fishing grounds would not be permitted to return to its own port to land its catch unless it complies with additional and substantial EU red tape.

The instant any Northern Irish boat would, leaving its own port in a part of the United Kingdom, it would become a boat from an EU “third country” according to the letter of the law.

They would have the option of landing catches at a British mainland port in Scotland such as Campbeltown, Troon or Fleetwood – but for any catch landed at a British mainland port to go to Northern Ireland would require the completion of customs forms countersigned by a vet as an independent witness.

Nobody in London, Dublin or Brussels wanted to discuss the fact that things could get worse, Mr McCulla stressed.

Referring to the point about Northern Irish ships being treated as “foreigners in their own land”, he said: “We continually highlight this to officials and politicians alike who do not dispute what is a fact.”

“What puzzles us can be their answer; ‘now isn’t the time to raise these issues in the negotiations.”

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