Scottish fishing boats ditch UK waters for Denmark to escape Brexit red tape

Scottish inshore fishermen at work off the east coast of Scotland, near Bass rock.

Scottish inshore fishermen at work off the east coast of Scotland, near Bass rock. - Credit: PA

Fishermen in Scotland have left UK waters and headed to Denmark to sell their fish in a bid to bypass new Brexit regulations agreed to by Boris Johnson.

According to Danish newspaper Altinget, the fishing auction in Hanstholm has reported unusually high levels of interest from Scottish fishermen since January 1.

"We are in dialogue with 10-15 new boats, because their market has suddenly become completely different from what they knew before 1 January," said auctioneer Jesper Kongsted.

"Many of them are some ships with a cargo of 50 tonnes."

Kongsted estimates that 30-40% of the 1,300 tonnes of fish sold at Hanstholm this year came from Scottish fishing boats.

This comes after SNP Commons leader Tommy Sheppard described reports of Scottish fish being left to rot due to bureaucracy as the “Brexit fishing disaster”, demanding that the fishing industry is compensated for the loss in trade.

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He said: "Boats confined to harbour, lorry loads of seafood destroyed, the industry losing £1 million a day as firms go bust – all as a result of Brexit red tape imposed by this government."

MORE: Scottish fishermen furious over Brexit red tape to dump rotting seafood outside Downing Street

His comments were followed by Jacob Rees-Mogg's claim that fish captured after the Brexit deal came into effect were "British and happier for it".

Responding to SNP concerns in the Commons, Rees-Mogg said: "The government is tackling this issue and is moving as quickly as it can.

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"The key is that we've got our fish back! They're now British fish and they are better and happier for it."

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