On 24th February, Luke appeared on BBC Spotlight to respond to the government’s failings over the fishing sector.
The Prime Minister has backed a campaign urging the public to buy more British-caught fish in response to calls for the Government to support the fishing industry.
The industry, in particular shellfish exports, has struggled not just because of the pandemic but also as a direct result of Brexit. At the beginning of the year, the EU imposed a ban on British shellfish exports, an industry worth around £1 million and is part of the heritage and culture of the South West. Publicly, Environment Secretary George Eustice deemed the ban ‘legally wrong’ and ‘unjustified’. However, it has since been revealed that the Government have known about the export ban since the beginning of December but failed to put provisions in place to protect the industry.
Unfortunately, the issues the shellfish sector are facing are not teething problems but the result of a bad post-Brexit deal. Whilst Labour supports the buy British fish campaign, this in itself will not save the industry.
In response to this issue, Luke Pollard MP said:
“No amount spin from the government will make this issue go away. We are on the verge of losing fishing jobs because of this. Whilst I support people eating more British fish, this in itself will not save the industry from going under because of the poor deal that’s been achieved over our exit from the EU.”