Nigel Farage confirms continued opposition to the EU
The Brexit Party leader penned an article for the Sunday Telegraph accepting the deal was necessary for ending the “Brexit wars”, in spite of his preference for a no-deal “clean break” from the EU. But Mr Farage warned the deal’s provisions for fishing “is even worse than I had feared”, echoing anger from industry leaders.
Mr Farage said in his article the UK “still won’t own the fish that swim in its waters”, and said the Prime Minister had failed the industry.
He added: “The current terms of the UK common fisheries policy will continue and just 25 percent of EU boats’ fishing rights in UK waters will be transferred to Britain’s fishing fleet up to 2026. Originally, it was expected that the EU’s rights would be cut by 80 percent.
“Nobody should underestimate the sense of betrayal in our coastal communities this has inspired.
“Even if after 2026 Britain wants to increase further its own quota allocation, it will have to pay compensation to the EU to do so. This is an outrageous humiliation.”
“The EU should be paying Britain to fish up to six miles from our shores.”
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Also listing Northern Ireland’s future status and financial services as compromises, Mr Farage said fishing towns “deserve recompense for what has been done to them once again”.
But the Brexit Party leader said the deal brought an end to the Brexit debate, and hailed Mr Johnson for obtaining it.
He added: “Lord Frost and Boris Johnson have paid a heavy price to get this deal over the line, but they have done far better than their predecessors and they do deserve some credit.
“The most important point about this deal is that it will end the anti-Brexit hysteria that has defined our nation since 2016. There is no going back.
“The grassroots campaign to win back Britain’s independence has triumphed against the Westminster establishment. That, surely, is worth celebrating.”
The comments follow outrage from fishing communities over the proposed six year “transition period” for European access to British waters.
Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said to ITV he felt the UK “surrendered” to the EU over the red-line issue.
He added: “This is very far away from the fishing industry expected or indeed was promised, we have surrendered access for the EU fleets to fish in our waters, for a further five years, without securing the quote advantages that we have a right to expect as an independent coastal state under international law.”
Mr Deas also took issue with the six-to-12-mile limit for non-UK vessels fishing in British waters, and said: “This isn’t small boats taking a small amount of fish out of that area, these are big modern vessels that will continue to have access and to the detriment of our own fisheries.”
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Mr Farage also spoke in his article about the controversial plan to pass a bill for the deal in one day, despite it stretching over 1,246 pages.
He said: “As with all moments of political drama, many people have appeared on television as ‘experts’ to discuss this deal without knowing exactly what they are talking about.
“Frankly, it will be many weeks before we fully understand its implications and MPs should not be bounced into backing it in its entirety this week.
“A vote on the principle of it makes more sense at this stage.”
Tory MPs have raised concerns over the lack of time to scrutinise the EU trade deal, which needs to be passed before December 31 to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
David Davis, former Brexit secretary, has said a one-day debate on the deal is “too short”.
Andrew Bridgen, member of the European Research Group, echoed Mr Farage and said there should be “a provisional approval vote followed by full parliamentary scrutiny and a subsequent confirmatory vote” in the new year.
Sir Keir Starmer has told Labour MPs to support the deal, but revolts from remain-supporting members are expected.
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