Brexit: The fishing industry reacts to the trade deal - not a sellout but not a Christmas bonanza either

Credit: PA

Of all the Brexit issues, fishing was arguably the most symbolic.

The UK fleet felt they had everything to gain and almost nothing to lose so how have they done? The picture is mixed and everyone is using the caveat of let’s see the detail but the sense from the industry in the UK tonight is that it’s “not a sellout but not a Christmas bonanza either”. The UK fleet will get more share of the quota over the next five years, 15% more in 2021 rising each year hitting 25% in five years time, at which point the UK will achieve full independent coastal status and will decide who gets what in further negotiations. David Stevens is a trawler skipper in Newlyn, he told ITV News: "On the whole negotiators did well… good amounts of quota repatriated”.

But he added “12 mile access is disappointing for the local fleet. The EU must have pushed hard for this."

Jerry Percy represents many of the smaller UK fishing vessels in the New Under Tens Fishermens Association and describes the five year lead-in as “a massive cop out” adding that many of his members “feel immensely let down”.

There’s little doubt that some of the EU nations are facing big losses over time.

Gerard van Balsfoort is Chairman of the European Fisheries Alliance, he said: "It is clear from what we know that this is a dark day for the European fishing industry.

"The loss of a significant part of our fishing rights, built up over many generations of fishermen, is a huge blow that leaves thousands of livelihoods hanging in the balance.

"On top of this, the extremely short transition period leaves us facing further uncertainty and hardship in the very near future”. Nathanël Middlekoop is an Alderman in the Dutch fishing village of Urk, he said: "The EU as a whole transfers 1.6 billion of fishing rights to the UK.

"For the Dutch fishing sector this means hundreds of millions in loss.

"[We are] relieved there is a deal, but with heavy losses."