‘We’ve got UK’s crabs!’ French fishermen boast of new haul BEFORE getting Brexit licence

Brexit: Michael Gove defends fishing arrangements in deal

A French fishing captain, identified only as Laurent, has admitted he caught crabs, lobsters, sea snails and other fish before he secured a permit to access British waters. He told Sky News he did not have time to wait for paperwork to be processed because his livelihood relied on it. Laurent said that he needed to access crab and lobster pots in British waters but would not wait for his papers to arrive. 

Laurent said: “These are Mr Johnson’s crabs! Happy New Year.”

His admission makes a mockery of the Brexit deal, signed just days ago with specific focus on ensuring Britain secured control of its own waters. 

Laurent added: “When the news came through on December 24 that we wouldn’t immediately be affected by Brexit, we were relieved.

“But then came a panic in the early hours of December 30, when we were told that we would still need a permit in order to fish in UK waters in the future.”

Fishermen need fishing permits from Friday to access British waters after a deal was signed on December 31.

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Boris Johnson said he recognised it would be a “difficult period” for the EU during the adjustment period over fishing rights.

He told MPs: “I’ve always recognised that this was going to be a difficult period for our European friends and partners because they’ve been fishing in these waters for decades, if not centuries.

“And first, as the House will know, they sought an adjustment period of 14 years, but our negotiators whittled that down to five and a half years during which the UK’s share, in that five and a half years the UK’s share of our fish in our waters will rise from over half today to around two-thirds.

“And of course we’d have liked to have done this more quickly, but it’s also true that once the adjustment period comes to an end, there will be no limit other than the limits that are placed by the needs of science and conservation on our ability to make use of our marine wealth.”

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But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer branded the EU deal “thin”.

He said: “It’s often said there’s nothing simple about Brexit but the choice before the House today is perfectly simple. Do we implement the treaty that has been agreed with the EU or do we not?

“That is the choice. If we choose not to, the outcome is clear, we leave the transition period without a deal, without a deal on security, on trade, on fisheries, without protection for our manufacturing sector, for farming, for countless British businesses and without a foothold to build a future relationship with the EU.

“Anyone choosing that option today knows there is no time to renegotiate, there’s no better deal coming in the next 24 hours, no extensions, no humble addresses, no SO24s, so choosing that option leads to one place – no deal.”

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Tory Sir Bill Cash added: “There remain challenges on fishing and in relation to Northern Ireland. We must use our new and renewed sovereignty to exercise the political muscle it gives us to resolve these challenges, we can and I believe we will. Regaining our right to govern ourselves is a true turning point in our great history.”

The evolution of modern parliamentary democracy he said “has been the bedrock of our freedom and enabled us with the leadership of Churchill to repel the danger of conquest in May 1940”.

Recalling a conversation with Margaret Thatcher on Europe, he added: “Our Prime Minister Boris Johnson has achieved what all those years ago I was told was impossible. I refused to believe them, so did the Maastricht rebels, and last year the 28 Tory Spartans which opened the way to where we are today.

“We have now won back our sovereignty despite those European pieces of paper, we owe our Prime Minister – the country owes him – our deepest congratulations on his achievement.”

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