Rees-Mogg stumbles through Brexit defense

Meanwhile Jayne Adye believes the two Tory candidates must come up with specific solutions for the fishing industry and the Northern Ireland Protocol issue, to be implemented when Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak take over from Boris Johnson in post of Prime Minister. Ms Adye, director of the Get Britain Out campaign, was speaking after Salmon Scotland, the voice of Scottish farmed salmon, which is Britain’s biggest food export, urged the UK government to take urgent action to support the industry after the decent delays.

Fresh salmon from Scotland will normally arrive in France the next morning, but in recent weeks there have been delays of up to 48 hours due to queues on the UK side of the Channel, they warned.

She said: “If these problems persist, the French will look for more reliable suppliers, probably from Norway. However, there are several reasons for the problems.

She added: “It has been reported that French President Macron is again plotting to find other ways to ‘punish the UK for Brexit’, one of them being the technical chaos in Dover, in ensuring there are not enough French officers at checkpoints – with only half the required number on duty at Dover recently – despite France’s Covid ban being lifted on the 1st august.

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Brexit: Emmanuel Macron “plots” against Great Britain, suggested Mrs Adye (Image: GETTY)

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Ms Adye cited remarks by former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe, who accused France of engineering the situation.

She added: “Ms Widdecombe spoke after it was announced that a new Franco-British task force had been set up – meant to prevent any repeat of queues at ports last weekend. I won’t hold my breath!

Ms Adye added: “All of these issues have been suggested to be Brexit related, with concerns over the massive amount of paperwork, vet checks etc. which now need to be done.

Dover queues

Brexit: Dover has experienced delays that many have blamed on Brexit (Image: GETTY)

“However, in the current Conservative and Unionist Party leadership election, neither of the last two candidates for the job and as Prime Minister – following the forced resignation of Boris Johnson – mentioned anything on the fishing industry, or on any other specific industry that desperately needs help.

“Little has been said about how they intend to resolve the rest of the outstanding Brexit issues, such as the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

Another problem for many industries, big and small, was the shortage of truck drivers, Ms Adye pointed out.

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Fishing boat in Scotland

Brexit: Salmon Scotland urged government to act after delays (Image: GETTY)

She said: “On Friday this week, the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, opened a consultation on whether to lift the ban on motorists driving anything over a 3.5 tonne vehicle – in an attempt to help solve driver shortages.

“That would be a good idea, as long as security concerns are in place.”

Only one of the two candidates had suggested a possible solution to the various Brexit issues, Ms Adye pointed out.

Macron and Johnson

Brexit: Emmanuel Macron has met Boris Johnson several times since Brexit (Image: GETTY)

She said: “Liz Truss has recently promised ‘a bureaucratic bonfire of trade rules’, although nothing specific about the fishing industry has been stated and much more needs to be done – including resolve issues relating to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“Perhaps the two candidates for the Prime Minister’s leadership – the former Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and the current Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, should start talking a little less about taxes (although cuts would be welcome) and much more on the details of what they actually plan to put in place to help people and businesses in the UK – as well as how they plan to grow the economy.

“Anyone who becomes Prime Minister will inherit a very difficult economic environment and additional aid will be needed to help pay food and fuel bills this winter for those who need it as inflation has yet to peak.”

Ms Adye also highlighted what she saw as another problem, namely the huge volume of exported stock, as opposed to consumption in the UK.

She said: ‘I realize the fishing industry needs a lot more support across the UK than it is currently receiving, but Get Britain Out has campaigned to be completely out of it. the EU, and I am concerned why the government is not encouraging the sale of more fresh seafood in our own country, rather than focusing on filling the plates of wealthy French diners in some of the best French restaurants in Paris!

“If more people ate more fresh fish across the UK it would contribute to the obesity crisis and encourage healthier eating.

‘Perhaps the government needs to encourage a bigger market for delicious fresh British fish in our supermarkets!’