Michael Gove’s Appointment – 200mile Clarity Crucial

Fishing for Leave welcomes Michael Gove’s appointment as Secretary of State for Defra.

FFL are happy given his family connections to fishing and his Brexit credentials and hope he does both justice.

Although Defra is not Mr Gove’s previous specialty his intellectual capacity should surmount not having had the Defra brief before, and we look forward to working with and engaging with him to bring him up to speed on one of the acid tests of Brexit.

Fishing can be a £6.3bn beacon of success for Brexit and can exorcise the betrayal by Edward Heath.

We must realise the opportunity to automatically repatriate all our waters and resources and to rejuvenate coastal communities with bespoke British policy that husbands our unique ecology, works for all fishermen and ends the policy of discards.

This opportunity cannot be squandered for the status quo to appease a minority of vested interests and the EU.

We are still gravely concerned by the deliberately ambiguous wording of the Conservative manifesto to describe the waters we will take back control of says those we have “historically exercised sovereign control”.

This deliberate choice of words can only mean out to 12 miles.

When international limits were extended to 200miles Britain was already bound to the Common Fisheries Policy and therefore the EU automatically took control of our extended fishing limits under the provisions of CFP Regulation 2141/70 which Britain had acceded to with our Treaty of Accession to the EU.

Although the previous Secretary of State said the manifesto meant all UK waters Mrs Leadsom is now gone whilst the manifesto Remains.

It is now necessary for clarity and closure that Mr Gove and the Prime Minister commit to the entire UK EEZ out to 200miles or the midline.

We hope and wish Mr Gove every success in realising the opportunity for a triumph of Brexit and look forward to meeting with him to help ensure this happens.