Govt Transition Terms – The Beginning of the End?

The leaked (and soon after published) Government DRAFT TEXT FOR DISCUSSION: IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD detailing the Governments position on the Transition deal show a deliberate effort to fashion Brexit in name only, flying in the face of the biggest democratic instruction in British history.

“The UK believes this document demonstrates that there is broad alignment between the UK and EU positions, with only a small number of areas requiring discussion”.

Confessing that the government sees “broad alignment in position” is an admission the government is prepared to capitulate to the EUs stringent transition terms.

Terms where although the UK will have officially left the EU and no longer be a member we will have re-agreed in a new transition treaty to obey all EU law after we leave (including the disastrous CFP) as some sort of vassal state.

In respect of fisheries the disingenuous wording the government has used in its document to describe the arrangements during the transition period is a sneaky admission of the disastrous situation they are digging not only fishing but the country as a whole

The official terms in Article X+4 – Specific arrangements relating to Fisheries Policy – say;

[Paragraph 1] As regards the fixing and allocation of fishing opportunities … for any period prior to the end of the Period (i.e. the transition), the EU and the UK shall agree the fishing opportunities related to the UK prior to the decision-making process within the Council. The United Kingdom shall participate alongside the EU and other coastal States in international fisheries negotiations.

The changes to paragraph [1] are to clarify the need for agreement between the UK and the EU with regards fishing opportunities during the (transition) Period, in advance of the formal processes at the December Fisheries Council, in which the UK will no longer have voting rights. The changes also reflect the consequences of the UK’s status as a third country for participation in negotiations with other coastal states.

 

This text above is an admission that the government has to engineer an arrangement to allow the UK as a non-EU member but an independent coastal state to surrender our fisheries resources and waters to the EU as part of a transition deal where we must obey the CFP of “equal access to a common resource”.

This is because as FFL (and others) have highlighted because the UK is not a member of the EU it cannot be officially recognised by other non-EU nations as being party to deals they have with the EU.

In this instance, in the respect of fisheries, it works in reverse. As the UK will no longer officially be an EU member the EU cannot officially act or speak on behalf of the UK in international agreements – such as international fisheries agreements

Saying the UK and EU will participate at international negotiations is a way to ensure the UK signs off whatever the EU tells us. We then return home and have to surrender our resources to the common EU pot to be divided out under the same grotesquely unfair shares of the CFP to obey the transition arrangements between us and the EU.

To give some sort of context as a rough legal comparison think of a husband (the EU) and wife (the UK).

Although they are married (i.e. the transition deal) it is a matter of fact the wife (the UK) is a person/country in her/our own right (a coastal state). The husband (the EU) cannot sign for the wife (the UKs) inheritance (fisheries resources agreed international).

However, as they are married (transition deal) once the inheritance (fisheries resources agreed internationally) are concluded the inheritance (our fish) belongs and is divided between their common household where the EU under the terms of the CFP only gives us half of what should otherwise be solely ours.

This is why the government has made this provision and shrouded it in opaque wording. This is why DEFRAs official statement to the press when questioned below goes all fuzzy at the end.

“Our proposal makes clear that when the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, we will become an independent coastal state. The Treaties will no longer apply, we will no longer be a Member State, and we will leave the Common Fisheries Policy. 

“Our proposal means that during the implementation period we will sit alongside other Coastal States as equal partners in international annual quota negotiations. 

“We are expecting more detailed discussions on the text with the EU. The details of how this apply will be discussed there.”

Yes, unequivocally, as a legal matter of fact, when we are an independent coastal state this confers the right to sit at the table and exercise sovereignty over our resources as the statement admits.

What the statement then fails to highlight is the government has built a mechanism to facilitate selling us out where we can surrender our waters and resources to the EU as part of the terms of the transition deal where we must obey the CFP thereafter – that is what is key.

The disgracefulness of this is amplified because they know and recognise that we will be an independent country but have deliberately contrived and decided to throw all that away to be trapped in the CFP. To sell our resources and fishermen out to the EU again but with just a different legal underpinning.

It is nothing short of evil, calculated maliciousness hid behind deliberately opaque wording and a PR exercise – those within the establishment who ore engineering something so heinous need to be called out.

Why does fishing need to be in a transition at all when the government recognises that we can walk away and be an independent coastal state with full control over all our waters and resources?

Why won’t the government back Michael Gove and George Eustice calls to not have fishing in a transition and to leave the disastrous CFP entirely on 29th March 2019?

What are we putting ourselves in this desperate position for?

We fear that the powers that be have laid the ground work to sacrifice Britain’s fishermen and coastal communities to continued demise trapped in the CFP where we will be another British industry consigned to museum and memory.