Former MEP June Mummery said Michel Barnier was insulting the British fishing industry when he made what was described as a rude offer for EU continued access to British waters after the transition period ends.
The EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier had proposed that the UK take £90million to ensure European vessels could continue fishing in British waters at the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31.
Former Brexit Party MEP June Mummery, who’s a long time campaigner for the rights of British fishermen, described the Frenchman and his offer as “rude” as she accused the EU of lowballing. Ms Mummery told Express UK, “That offer was an absolute insult.
“And if I had been doing the deal, I would have walked out the door and slammed the door in his face. An absolute insult. Once we take back control, and I mean to take back full control, the fishing industry will be worth £6.6billion to the economy. That is net to plate.”
Ms Mummery, however, noted that the rejuvenation of the British fishing industry would benefit the country with substantial “knock-on business,” which help to generate hundreds of jobs across the UK.
“The big advantage of industry like fishing is the knock-on business that you get. One job at sea is eight jobs on land. You have these knock-on businesses like processing, we’re going to need a lot of boats built, and with building ships, you get all types of jobs created,” she added.
Mr Barnier has been under pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron and other EU leaders whose fishing business depend on British waters to thrive, with Macron and his Belgian counterpart Alexander De Croo warning they will not agree to a deal with the UK “at any cost”.
Mr Macron said, “The preservation of our fishermen in British waters is an essential condition. France will not allow an agreement that does not respect our interests”.
France, Belgium and The Netherlands have been fishing in British waters under European laws since the UK joined the European Economic Community in 1973. But now the UK government has maintained the controversial limitations the UK fishing communities have suffered since joining the bloc will end after December 31.