Andy Trust, owner of Ocean Harvest in Looe, normally exports around 30 percent of his company’s sales to markets in France, Spain and Italy. But since the UK left the EU Single Market on January 1, Mr Trust has not been able to sell a single fish to any EU country.
He said: “The cost of red tape is just too expensive.
“You can’t sell there as a smaller merchant.
“For the last 20 years, you could put fish in a box, load it into a lorry and off it goes.
“Now, it’s getting pulled up in Boulogne and turned away for the smallest thing.
“They’re inspecting it, with lorries delayed for three, four, even ten hours – if the fish even make it at all.
“It’s been a kick in the teeth.”
Mr Trust claimed a 200kg shipment to the EU used to cost him around £70 in fees.
But the figure has now soared to closer to £200, which he has refused to pay and said it is not worth shipping.
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And Mr Trust – who voted for Brexit in 2016 – said the Leave campaign has duped them.
He continued: “When they were talking about increasing the quotas, making our own decisions, that sounded good.
“And they had a big red bus which said they’d fund the NHS, that sounded good.
“I fell for it. I didn’t realise and I’m shooting myself in the bloody foot.”
He added if there was another Brexit referendum, he would vote to Remain.
Mr Trust added: “Given a second chance, I wouldn’t have voted for it.
“It’s totally buggered me up and it’s geared for people selling multiple tonnes of fish.
“It will cost jobs.”
The Cornish Fish Producers Organisation (CFPO) has been meeting with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to bring the Cornish fishing concerns to the Government.
After securing a trade deal with the EU in December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has handed over £23m to the fishing industry as compensation for the “eye-watering” red tape.
Mr Johnson has been warned he could face an electoral backlash in fishing communities if trust was not restored with fishermen over the new deal.
The former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib says the Prime Minister must rectify issues around fishing within the deal.
Additional reporting by Edward Church