GOVT HAS ALREADY CAPITULATED TO LINKING MARKETS & FISHERIES ACCESS. – THE FUTURE RELATIONSHIP IS A TRAP TO EXPLOIT IT.

  • THE PM LIED TO THE COMMONS – GOVERNMENT HAS ALREADY FLAGRANTLY CAPITULATED TO LINKING MARKETS & FISHERIES ACCESS.

  • THE FUTURE RELATIONSHIP IS A TRAP TO EXPLOIT TO ENSNARING THE UK IN CFP ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP.

We are incensed by the Future Relationship Terms and the Prime Ministers abject lie to the Commons that fisheries resources and market access were not linked in the Withdrawal Agreement.

Protocol Article 6 of the Withdrawal Agreement says that they are, and that unless the UK coughs up access for EU boats to continue fishing in British waters then the EU will deny access for fisheries and aquaculture products.

PROTOCOL – ARTICLE 6
Single customs territory – movement of goods – page 311
…fishery and aquaculture products….shall not be covered…, unless an agreement on access to waters and fishing opportunities is applicable between the Union and the United Kingdom.

Across the political spectrum there have been demands that access for markets will not be linked to access to fisheries. Those still seeking assurance miss that the horse has bolted – the government has already capitulated.

The PM saying this is not the case at the dispatch box this evening (22nd) means she’s either an idiot or a liar.

The Withdrawal agreement runs coach and horses through all ministerial and fisheries white paper commitments and promises.

What has been agreed in both the Withdrawal Agreement and future relationship directly tramples all over the pledge 13 Scots Tory MPs made – that markets and access wouldn’t be linked; the CFP wouldn’t continue past 2020;  that the UK would be completely free thereafter and not bound to any form of quota and access share agreement.

Future Relationship – Fishing opportunities – Point 75 clearly violates their pledge- “the Parties should establish a new fisheries agreement on, inter alia, access to waters and quota shares.”

It is a disgrace and shameful that after David Mundell said he would resign if this happened that he is a dis-honourable coward not to have done so.

If Scots Tory MPs don’t want to be electorally obliterated leading to another independence referendum, they must honour their pledge by also submitting letters of no confidence.

This has happened despite Michael Gove and George Eustice saying these red-lines wouldn’t be breached – their promises and authority are hopelessly undermined by Mrs May and her negotiators.

If Mr Gove, Mr Eustice and Mr Mundell wish to have any political credibility then they must put country before career and party, resign and hand in letters of no confidence rather than stand by a Captain deliberately sinking the ship.

FUTURE RELATIONSHIP IS CFP ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP

MPs backing the PMs deal as ok for fishing need to revise their position and explain if not then why not.

Even if the UK ever managed to gain EU permission to leave the Transition and Backstop arrangements It is clear the Future Relationship leaves the door wide open to slow envelopment of the UK in associate membership of the CFP forever.

The Future Relationship on FISHING OPPORTUNITIES (Point 74) obliges; “the development of measures for the conservation, management and regulation of fisheries, in a non-discriminatory manner.”

Non-discrimination was the principle upon which the CFP foundation of ‘equal access to a common resource’ was based.

Article 18 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) defines non-discrimination as the prohibition of ‘any discrimination on grounds of nationality’.

Simply – the select word choice of ‘non-discrimination’ is not accidental. Historically, and in legal practice, when applied to fisheries it means ‘equal access’ – the founding principle of the CFP continued.

FFL are also livid that fisheries management and access will be negotiated; “Within the context of the overall economic partnership”.

This leaves fisheries wide open to being sacrificed yet again as negotiating capital using markets and access being linked as the lever.

It also means any fisheries agreement will be subject to the agreement the that rules would be set on a “level playing field” Protocol Section XIV – i.e. regulatory alignment”

MPs saying we will be an independent coastal state post Brexit is no defence.

The UK may officially be enforcing laws under its own steam – it’s just these laws would be subject to the wider agreement and in tandem with and a mirror image of the EU.

In summary – What has been agreed allows the EU to lever access vs markets to ensure Future Relationship rules are based on ‘non-discrimination’ (i.e. equal access) and on a ‘level playing field” (i.e. regulatory alignment with EU rules).

It may not be called ‘the’ CFP but ‘a’ CFP. It may be associate membership under a different name but if it walks like the CFP, and quacks like the CFP then it is the CFP.

ANY TRANSITION FATAL

This of course is if the British fishing industry makes it this far as the Transition will be fatal for British fishing.

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement the Transition can now be extended until 2023 despite Mr Mundell, Scots MPs and the DEFRA ministers staking their reputation otherwise.

The transition means the UK re-obeys all EU law and the CFP post-Brexit.

This would give the EU power to; cut UK quotas; barter UK resources in international agreements and abolish the 12nm limit that protects British inshore and shell-fishermen along with important nursery grounds.

Worst of all the EU will be free to fully enforce an ill-founded discard ban. Where, as of 2019, vessels must tie up on exhausting their meagrest quota – this will bankrupt most of Britain’s fleet.

FFL have repeatedly warned that the EU can then use international law (UNCLOS 62.2) to claim the ‘surplus’ of resources the UK could no longer catch.

Combine the long transition, the government handing the EU a market vs access negotiating lever and the Future Relationship agreement and the situation is disastrous.

It is therefore time Mr Gove, Eustice, Mundell and those 12 other Scots Tory MPs resigned and put in letter in.

Sycophantic failure to do so to protect the Worst deal and PM in history will be no defence against an electorate who now see through Mrs Mays double speak of Brexit In Name Only where the UK unforgivably is surrendered to becoming a vassal state.