'Very few work in the fishing industry BECAUSE of EU' - Tory MP Martin Vickers blasts Labour remainer over Brexit comments

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 22 May 2018

MP Martin Vickers savaged a London Labour MP who claimed the Grimsby and Cleethorpes’ fishing industry would be “hammered” by being outside the European Union.

The spat in the House of Commons saw Cleethorpes MP Mr Vickers take exception to remarks made by Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Illford North in Essex, in which he criticised the Tory MP for supporting Brexit.

Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers tells Labour MP Wes Streeting it was "because of the EU" that the fishing industry has declined

Mr Streeting, who identifies as a “London MP”, said that while “my city will be all right post-Brexit”, he predicted fishing communities such as Grimsby and Cleethorpes would be worse off when the UK exits the EU.

“Big fishing communities like his are going to be absolutely hammered [by Brexit],” Mr Streeting told Mr Vickers.

“What on earth is he doing by justifying the absurdity of the Government’s policy?”

But the resort MP dismissed the comments as “simply laughable” and said it was “because of the EU” that the fishing trade had collapsed in Grimsby.

“For him even to suggest that the fishing industry has in some way has benefited from our membership of the European Union is simply laughable,” said the backbench Tory.

“I would gladly invite him to my constituency and let him meet the people who were involved in the fishing industry.

"Quite simply, there are very few of them are involved in the fishing industry now because of the European Union.”

West Streeting, Labour MP for Illford North, has predicted Grimsby and Cleethorpes will be 'hammered' by Brexit (Image: Sunday Mirror)

Before the intervention by Mr Streeting on Wednesday, May 16, Mr Vickers had been arguing that Britain should leave its customs arrangement with Brussels and look to trade more with countries outside of Europe.

Theresa May and her Cabinet are currently debating over differing options in terms of future customs checks with the EU after Brexit.

“The European Commission has predicted that 90 per cent of world economic growth over the next 10 to 15 years will come from outside the European Union, so surely our focus should be on countries outside the EU,” said the ex-North East Lincolnshire councillor.

READ MORE: Brexit fears remain for future of Grimsby's traditionally smoked haddock

“The Government has been very clear that we will leave the customs union in March 2019.

“Any attempt to thwart that is an attack on the democratic process and the clearly defined will of the British people.

“Some 70 per cent of people in my constituency voted for leave. They did not vote for half-leave, which is what opposition members who want to remain in the single market or a customs union are trying to achieve.

“They wanted to leave full stop – absolutely and completely.”

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