Nigel Farage has been reminded of a comment he made claiming that fishing rights would be the “acid test” of any Brexit deal.
A 33-second recording showing Farage making those claims have resurfaced on Twitter around the same time a former campaigner complained Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal had left her with “no fish”.
“Acid test of Brexit – what our voters will face in 2020 – is have we got back our territorial waters? Are we like Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, are we in control?” Farage tells a reporter in the clip.
Asked why, Farage responds: “It’s going to take some considerable courage to say to our European partners ‘I’m very sorry. I know you’ve had a fabulous time catching 80% of our fish but we are actually going to take back what is rightfully ours’.
“That’s going to take real leadership and real courage”.
Farage constantly campaigned for Britain’s catch of fish in territorial waters to increase after Brexit and regularly called on Downing Street not to give in to EU demands on seafood quotas.
Despite the rhetoric, Farage supported Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, which sees full control of quotas being given back to Britain over a five-year period. After that, quotas will be negotiated on a yearly basis.
The clip resurfaced around the same time former Brexit Party MEP and seafood company owner June Mummery claimed Johnon’s trade deal had left her with “no fish”.
“As fishing goes, and if we want to hang on to the industry we have, five years is a long time when you have nothing,” she told ex fellow MEP Martin Daubney during a live interview.
“We’re on our knees. We’ve waited 40 years and quite frankly a lot of people will pack up, including myself. I’ve got no fish!”
Farage’s comments did not age well on Twitter.
Chris Smith reminded Farage of his commitment to leave Britain if Brexit was deemed a failure.
“Farage said he would leave the UK if Brexit was a failure. He also said fishing was the acid test of success. Why is he still here?”
Farage said he would leave the UK if Brexit was a failure. He also said fishing was the acid test of success. Why is he still here? https://t.co/3dsEirB5KN
— Chris Smith (@ledredman) January 25, 2021
“Not so much as the acid test, more so as an acid attack Mr Farage @Nigel_Farage on your beloved sacrificial fishing industry, left high and dry. You have so much to answer for,” commented Andrew Parnall.
Not so much as the acid test, more so as an acid attack Mr Farage @Nigel_Farage on your beloved sacrificial fishing industry, left high and dry. You have so much to answer for. https://t.co/ni7TSoyyK3
— Andrew Parnall 💙- It's all a bit shit, innit? (@dontbrexitfixit) January 25, 2021
Paul Thomsett countered: “They caught 80% of ‘our’ fish because the UK government sold them the quotas.”
Mary P Byrne-Halaszi posted: “I don’t have enough eyes to roll back in my head for this.”
I don’t have enough eyes to roll back in my head for this
— Mary P Byrne-Halaszi (@marypetuni) January 25, 2021
“So Nigel, on balance, would you say we’ve passed it failed that test? Asking for an industry in crisis,” asked one user.
Others were a little more inventive. John Johnston posted an image of Farage’s face superimposed on to a packet of Fisherman’s Friend mints, relabelling it “Fisherman’s Fraud”.