Grimsby fish market boss welcomes Brexit trade deal with EU

Martyn Boyers witgh Boris Johnson
Martyn Boyers, pictured with Boris Johnson in 2019 Credit: PA

The boss of Grimsby fish market has welcomed the agreement reached with the EU over fishing as part of the Brexit trade – despite criticism that it will leave the industry worse off.

Martyn Boyers says it is vital that the deal means international trade can continue.

It came as fishermen's leaders accused Boris Johnson of betraying the industry with a deal that would leave them "worse off".

Andrew Locker, chairman of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations, said: "I am angry, disappointed and betrayed. Boris Johnson promised us the rights to all the fish that swim in our exclusive economic zone and we have got a fraction of that."

But Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove insisted they would get a greater share of the fish in UK waters and that could increase over time.

"I think it is fair to say that we are in a stronger position than we were in the EU and in the common fisheries policy," he said.

"In the common fisheries policy we were only able to access about 50% of the fish in our waters. It is the case that we are now getting a significant uptick in that number, so we will have by 2026 about two-thirds of the fish in our waters."

"This staged process gives us a chance to increase the size of the fleet, to invest in our coastal communities, and, of course, in due course we will have that opportunity to increase that quota even further."

Mr Boyers insisted he was happy with the agreement.

He said: "It's an improvement on the amount of fish we can catch but it also allows for the continuation of the import and export  and the trade of the fish business.

"For example, in Grimsby we import huge quantities from Iceland and from Norway and I know quite a lot of that is processed and finds its way on to the continent as well so that continuation of trade is going to be a good thing."

MPs are due to vote on the deal on Wednesday.