James O’Brien has schooled a Brexiteer refusing to accept new trade rules between the EU and the UK.
Simon from Sevenoaks said taking back control of British waters was a major reason for his decision to vote Brexit but that he now feels disappointed it has resulted in the end of frictionless trade with the EU.
Simons’ comments come as lorry-loads of live seafood destined for restaurants and shops in the EU are being rejected because they are taking too long to arrive due to new Brexit checks.
Reports have also emerged of Scottish fishermen unloading their catch in Danish ports. Meanwhile, the boss of a world-renowned seafood company has vowed to dump rotten stock in front of Downing Street if the situation for fishermen does not improve soon.
Frustrated by what he was witnessing, Simon said he had voted for Brexit so UK politicians could “dictate what trawlers catch what fish in our waters.”
O’Brien asked him if he understood why this now was not possible and Simon admitted he did not.
“Because the massive majority of the fish that we eat is caught by foreign fleets,” O’Brien said, adding, “why do you think the National Federation of Fishermans Organisations is so furious?”
“Because there’s increased bureaucracy and increased paperwork because the European Union are finding it difficult to accept common terms,” Simon said.
O’Brien explained the increased bureaucracy was an “inevitable consequence” of leaving the EU single market.
When Simon asked why exporting fish had become so difficult “over a day”, O’Brien said: “If you were to resign your membership of a club today, tomorrow your relationship with that club would be very different.”
Simon, who was becoming increasingly confounded, asked why the EU were rejecting “trade-able goods that they want”.
“The benefits of membership are confined to members,” O’Brien said, adding that the UK no longer had parity with EU members.