A former Brexit Party MEP and owner of a fishing company has said Prime Minister Boris Johnson's deal has left her with "no fish” and the industry “on our knees”.
June Mummery, who campaigned with “Fishing for Leave”, added many will pack up from the sector while waiting for fishing quotas to expire as five years "is a long time when you have nothing".
She had claimed leaving the European Union would be beneficial for UK fisheries during the Brexit referendum and later also called for a “hard Brexit”.
Before the final negotiations concluded in December 2020, she told Jeremy Vine’s TV show: "We are taking back full control of our waters and the resource. It’s as simple as that.
“Fishing shouldn't even be in any deals.”
At the time, the Brexiteer added: "We have got a golden opportunity to rebuild our industry that quite frankly has been taken away from us."
But in a new interview with fellow former MEP turned commentator Martin Daubney, Mummery said: "As fishing goes, and if we want to hang on to the industry we have, because five years is a long time when you have nothing.
"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."
In the deal, British boats will get a greater share of the fish from UK waters, with the change phased in between 2021 and 2026.
This will be followed by annual negotiations on how to share the catch with the EU.
Social media users reacted to Mummery’s change in tone.
@WritesBright It is absolutely mind blowing that June Mummery, the owner of a Fish Auction business who then became… https://t.co/OgvnDXMIt2
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has claimed the Brexit trade agreement was “a great deal” for the industry after outrage from fishing companies, who said additional red tape and delays have lost them unable to reach European export markets.