Brexit poses ‘severe threat to Britain’s fishing communities’

fishing fisheries

Brexit will almost certainly have a negative economic impact on large parts of Britain’s fishing industry and the coastal communities which rely on it. That’s the key finding of a new report by the New Economics Foundation which analyses different scenarios according to their impact on different parts of the fishing fleet.

The report – called Not in the Same Boat: The economic impact of Brexit across UK fishing fleets – uses five Brexit scenarios ranging from ‘No Deal’ to ‘Soft Brexit’. It finds that it is only in the highly unlikely ‘Fisheries First’ scenario that there will be benefits across the UK fleet.

In the more likely scenarios, Brexit will see some fishers – mainly small boats – do far worse than others. The rest of the fishing supply chain – processors, wholesalers and retailers – is highly exposed to the risks of tariffs and non-tariff barriers. That means that under any likely Brexit scenario, coastal communities in the UK will be worse off.

The report also highlights the danger of overfishing as a result of UK politicians and industry leaders promising more quota while European leaders promising not to decrease quota. An increase in overfishing would be both environmentally and economically disastrous for all concerned, as the report findings show.

Summary points

  • Brexit is almost certain to hit fishing communities hard, new research suggests
  • Boats without quota, processors, retailers and wholesalers will be worse off under nearly all scenarios
  • Brexit could lead to an increase in overfishing, with disastrous environmental and economic results
  • New Economics Foundation urges the UK government to pursue co-operative approach to negotiations and use quota to help small boats


Read the full article and download the report at New Economics Foundation.

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