Are Spanish trawlers in Cornwall 'getting landing figures up' so they can claim link to UK during Brexit talks?

  • By ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

It could be just a coincidence but the arrival of what are understood to be Spanish trawlers in Cornwall has left some wondering if something fishy is going on.

Within hours of the government triggering Article 50 the boats were landing their catch in the Cornish harbour of Newlyn for the first time in years.

The suspicion amongst some in the fishing community is that these boats, which sail under a British Flag but are part of the Spanish fleet, are "getting the landing figures up so they can claim an economic link to the UK during Brexit talks".

The trawlers in the Cornish harbour

The National Federation of Fisherman's Organisations (NFFO) say that the French, Dutch, Danish, Belgium & Spanish fleets "take up to 80% of their catch in UK waters" and it is therefore easy to see why they might want to protect their commercial interests.

It's not quite the Spanish Armada invading Cornwall yet but it's enough to worry the locals in an industry that is preparing for some stormy times ahead.