The Yorkshire fishing industry is on the edge of an abyss amid the Brexit uncertainty, warns the Yorkshire Party’s Business Spokesperson Tim Norman.
And Tim, who represents coastal Bridlington on East Riding of Yorkshire Council, urged MPs to stand up for the inshore and deep-water fishing fleets.
“If there is one industry that is synonymous with the coastal towns of Yorkshire then it is fishing. This industry has been the backbone of many a coastal village and town and has, over decades, seen the steady decline of the fishing fleets and in employment in the industry.
“Not only have the local fleets been impacted but also the major deep-sea, long-range vessels. And now it would appear with Brexit around the corner and agreements between the EU and non-EU countries over fishing rights about to be withdrawn when we leave the EU, the long-range fishing fleets face an uncertain future.
“The Yorkshire Party is therefore calling on all MPs to concentrate, not only getting the best deal for Yorkshire when the UK leaves the EU, but also for our local fishing fleet to ensure that it not only survives but thrives.
“For our long-range vessels, the deal should ensure that the strength of Yorkshire fishermen is developed and that they can continue to work the fishing grounds around Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroes.
“We believe that, with the right preparation and, if there is a deal or even a no-deal Brexit, the Yorkshire Fleet can again be a strength for the country and help make us a Stronger Yorkshire in a Fairer United Kingdom.”
Tim was speaking after The Yorkshire Post featured a column by Sir Barney White-Spunner, the chairman of UK Fisheries, headlined: “We must not let no-deal Brexit sink Yorkshire’s proud fishing industry.
In the article Sir Barney said: “It is vital for Yorkshire’s fishing heritage that all our local MPs are making their voices heard over the current cacophony of Westminster and insisting that our trade negotiators see sense.
“We must not give away this once proud industry for vague promises or the hope that our partners will take pity.”