NEWLYN, England (Reuters) – For English fishermen, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal is treason because it allowed a certain European Union to allow boats to continue to have access to the UK’s rich coastal waters

Johnson, who led the 2016 Brexit campaign, promulgated the trade deal on Christmas Eve to regain control of the fate of the UK, including as an “independent coastal state with complete control over our waters” “

But there is anger in Newlyn, an old Cornish fishing port as far from London as Paris, that Johnson is continuing to allow EU boats to navigate the rich coastal fishing zone of 6 to 12 nautical miles

“Boris the traitor killed us and we will not forget,” Phil Mitchell, the 51-year-old skipper of Ladram’s 23-meter Govenek, told Reuters on board the boat. “We had the opportunity to do that Actually regaining control and we have passed it on ”

“They were happy to use us for their campaign and when it comes down to it we got the boost and were thrown at us from a great height,” said Mitchell, a Brexit supporter who says a historic Die Opportunity was again missed by executives 470 km away in London

From the boats in Newlyn, England’s largest fishing port by tonnage, to the fishermen’s huts over the harbor, the feeling of betrayal is pervasive

The anger sheds light on the motivations behind the frenzied five-year Brexit crisis and the limits of the deal Johnson sought to force after the UK’s stormy 48-year association with the EU

“We’re sold out,” said David Stevens, 46-year-old skipper of the 245 meter Crystal Sea Twin-Rig Demersal Trawler. “The worst kick in the teeth for us is continued access for EU ships within the 12-mile Limit ”

“The industry has been used as a farmer all the way – held up as a reason to leave – and yet they threw us under the bus,” said Stevens

The reputation for regaining control of British waters helped Brexiteers like Johnson win the 2016 referendum, in which 52 percent of the UK voted to leave

For fishermen from Cornwall to Scotland, EU membership and the decline in fishing go hand in hand. They voted in droves for Brexit

The UK fishing fleet has grown by more than 11 years in the past 30 years000 to under 6000 boats cut in half More than half of the UK’s fleet was built before 1991. The UK – surrounded by the sea – is a net importer of fish

The Newlyn fishermen said they were betrayed in 1973 when Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath led the UK into the European project, and they would also be betrayed on the way out

“In 1973 Ted Heath sacrificed fishing to bring the deal to Europe,” said Stevens, a Brexit supporter who fishes for lemon sole, rays and turbot. “Boris is from Europe and did the same thing, but this time is make it worse ”

Johnson’s agreement with the EU secures UK trade in the bloc, which is tariff-free and quota-free on goods, which is vital for industries much bigger than fishing. But fish was one of the last problems that had to be resolved as the EU negotiated hard on behalf of politically influential coastal communities in France and other countries that have been fishing British waters for centuries

Johnson said the deal would increase the quota for UK fishermen to 25% of the value of EU catches in UK waters and will be phased in over 5 years

“I can assure big fish fanatics in this country that we will be able to catch and eat astounding amounts of extra fish as a result of this deal,” Johnson said of the deal on December 24,

While the government has announced that some EU ships will have access to some UK territorial waters during the five-year adjustment period, fishermen said that in practice, EU boats will keep the rights forever

Given the complexity of the business texts, even maritime lawyers are unsure of the full details. The Department of Agriculture declined to clear the 12 mile limit rules immediately

“Absolutely stomach-leaning – gutted to the core,” said Mitchell of Johnson’s deal, which gave France what it wanted in fish

“They sold us out – don’t lie to us,” said Stevens. “Just do it. Just tell us how it is: They sold us out. Don’t lie to us. If that were for the better of the country, then fine – but just admit it to ”

Fishermen suspect Johnson traded fish for other subjects While fishing alone only contributed 0.3% of the UK’s economic output or 01% of UK GDP if processing is included, it is a lifeline and way of life for UK fishing communities that goes back thousands of years

Exclusion of foreign vessels from the 6-12 mile limit was a “red line” for fishermen as the coastal area is considered a nursery for both fish and fishermen learning the trade

“All the optimism is gone – we had been hoping for four years we would get our fishery back,” said Stevens. “Boris betrayed us and it’s on his door – he owns it”

All offers were delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a full list of exchanges and delays, see


Weltnachrichten – GB – ‘Boris the traitor’ cheated on us about Brexit, say England’s fishermen