Labour has called on Peter Aldous to seek ‘real assurances’ from the Government that Waveney’s fishing community will not be used as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations.
Local fishing leaders have described the Government’s failure to take proper account of the industry in the transition deal negotiated with the EU last month as ‘catastrophic‘.
Ministers agreed that even after Britain leaves on 29 March next year fishing in Waveney and along the Suffolk coast will be bound by EU rules until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.
But under the terms of the transition deal agreed by the Tories the UK won’t even have a seat at the EU negotiating table when quotas are negotiated in December 2019 and will have no say.
Cllr Sonia Barker, leader of the Waveney Labour Group, said false hope had been generated by fisheries minister George Eustice’s appearance at an East Anglian fishing conference in March. A Commons debate called by Peter Aldous last week attended by a handful of MPs would do little to help.
Cllr Barker said: ‘The Waveney Labour Group is very concerned the Government has sold the fishing community of Lowestoft down the river with the recent Brexit transition deal.
‘The reassurances to the industry in Lowestoft given last month by George Eustice have been shown to be worthless. Despite their fine words the Government is more concerned when negotiating Brexit to put other sectors – particularly finance – before the needs of our fishing industry.
‘Peter Aldous needs to do more than call very poorly attended debates. Our fishing industry needs real assurances – not more platitudes.’