Johnson should ‘expect’ election challenge says Habib
The former Brexit Party MEP warned Boris Johnson he could face an electoral backlash in fishing communities across the United Kingdom if trust was not restored with fishermen over the new deal with the EU. While answering questions on Brexit Unlocked, Mr Habib outlined the threat facing the Prime Minister from an “alliance” of candidates running in coastal constituencies. Mr Habib insisted that Mr Johnson could expect to be challenged in coastal communities at an election in 2024 if he fails to rectify issues around fishing within the Brexit deal.
He explained: “We will continue the fight for coastal communities and probably in the Prime Minister doesn’t rectify the fisheries agreement between now and 2024 he can expect to be challenged in 186 coastal communities.
“By candidates either put forward independently or by some kind of alliance put forward by people who are going to make sure the livelihoods of those communities are upheld.
“We need to put the interests of the electorate first, we need to put constituents interests first.
“We have got to stop playing politics at a globalist level and we have got to make politics local.”
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He added: “The only way that the Prime Minister can neuter that threat is actually delivering on the promise he made to take back full control of our fish.”
The EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) that was signed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the EU on December 30, will enable fishermen from the bloc to access UK waters for five and a half years.
The trade deal allowed the EU to keep 75 percent of the value of the fish it now catches in UK waters, with 25 percent being returned to British fishermen over the transition period.
From the summer of 2026, Britain can then cut quotas or exclude boats in a zone of 6-12 nautical miles.
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It is also estimated that by 2026, UK boats will have access to an extra £145million of fishing quota every year.
Under the new rules, an EU Member State flagged vessel has no right to fish in UK waters until a license is issued.
Only when a vessel owner has gained the license to fish in UK waters, the vessel can sail and engage in fishing activities in those waters.
It comes as Mr Johnson insisted to the House of Commons that Brexit will deliver a huge uplift to Britain’s fishing sector over the next five years.
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Labour MP Ben Bradshaw asked about the UK’s fishing industry during Prime Minister’s Questions.
He said: “When the Prime Minister told fishermen in the southwest that they would not face export barriers and when he told Britain’s musicians and artists that they would still be free to tour and work in the rest of the EU after Brexit neither of those statements were correct were they Prime Minister?”
Mr Johnson replied: “It is absolutely true that some British fishermen have faced barriers at the present time due to complications of form filling.”
“By 2026 the fishing people in this country will have all the access to all the territorial waters of this country,” he added.
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