HUGELY SUCCESSFUL MASS PROTESTS ~ POLITICIANS MUST LISTEN OR THIS WILL JUST BE THE START
Following Sundays successful demonstrations, it is now important that the politicians pay heed to not only the fishermen but the thousands of people who turned out to support on the quaysides.
Yet Mrs May said in Denmark she wanted “fair and reciprocal” access to waters for the countries’ fishermen after Brexit.
Mrs Mays definition of ‘fair and reciprocal’ fishing access is probably as far away from the rest of the population as her idea of Brexit meaning Brexit. Access should only be on a needs must equal swap basis.
Sadly it seems Mrs Mays idea is the same as her predecessor Heath. That Britain’s greatest natural resource and coastal communities are expendable negotiating capital as her capitulation to trapping Britain’s fishing in transition shows.
Theresa May needs to stop playing semantic and for once live up to her rhetoric of ‘let me be clear’ by having the decency to stop playing with real people’s lives, futures and businesses in coastal communities.
She must reverse the capitulation on fishing and categorically promise that we will be entirely free of the CFP come March 2019 or consign another British industry to museum and memory as the EU culls what’s left in 21 months.
PROTEST A HUGE EFFORT THAT’S JUST A POLITE START
All those from the industry that made the effort to turn out around the coast they did a fantastic job and should be massively proud in representing and fighting for their industry, communities and way of life – that is what this is all about for us.
Milford Haven, Portsmouth and Hastings were all phenomenal efforts with excellent turn outs from along the coast. A well done must go to Weymouth for coming together at such short notice as well as Newcastle where a well done is due to many Shields fishermen rose to the occasion on short notice.
Special mention must go to Plymouth for the sheer numbers and the artillery battery of fireworks launched and to Whitstable and Chris and Luke, where the symbolic burning of a boat was a show stopper finale that deservedly won top trumps.
We’d like to convey a big thanks to all those who worked like trojans to make this happen and the thousands of members of the public that came down to support the flotillas, ultimately our seas and fish stocks are the nations resource and as much theirs – people even made it to Plymouth from Stoke-on-Trent!
These were peaceful protests conducted with black humour and high professionalism – even when Remainers chained themselves to the boat Thereason May that was about to be symbolically burnt.
However, these events weren’t a party but a full throated protest. We’re sick to death of being malevolently and dismissively portrayed as being justifiably expendable when we are anything but. Fishing is a primary wealth generating industry providing food security and employment in ancillary industries in rural coastal areas.
Repatriating our fishing grounds and the 60% of the fish the EU catches in them is worth a potential £6-8bn every year to coastal and rural communities and can create tens of thousands of jobs.
For the remainers gleefully peddling the deliberate narrative that fishing doesn’t matter we ask – how much is your job worth to the economy? Something for the professional students who berated fishermen that remainers knew best about fishing in Whitstable to consider.
TRANSITION MEANS MORE BOATS WILL BE BURNT
The transition isn’t just 21 months to suck up but an existential threat and potential death sentence for what’s left of Britain’s fishing industry.
DEFRA peddling the government line about “delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit” along with “safeguarding fishing communities” is laughable given obeying all EU law after Brexit means the EU is able to enforce detrimental policies to cull our fleet.
The EU has every incentive to do this as under international law, UNCLOS Article 62.2, if a nation is unable to catch all its resources it must give the surplus it can’t catch to its neighbour – the EU.
Our big fear is the ill-founded EU discard ban is to be fully enforced as of 2019. The EU’s inept quota system forces fishermen to discard half their catch to try find fish their quota lets them keep.
The ban addresses the discard symptom not the quota cause. Vessels must stop fishing when they exhaust their smallest quota. These ‘choke species quotas’ will see the fleet tied up, boats and businesses at sea and ashore go bust.
The 12mile limit that protects our inshore fishermen and nursery grounds can also be abolished upon withdrawal.
Despite DEFRAs pathetic official protestations that “the UK’s share of catch could not be reduced over the transition period”, the EU commission has sole discretion to award and change resource shares and every reason to do so to our detriment.
DEFRAs statement that we will be ok because we ‘are working in good faith’ is pitiful given the EU has repeatedly said that a departing member must be seen to suffer.
We would welcome how DEFRA squares the bunkum that “by December 2020 we will be negotiating fishing opportunities as an independent coastal state” given obeying all EU law doesn’t end until 2021 with international fishing negotiations not till that Autumn..?
To sacrifice tens of thousands and communities to appease a few ideologically pro-EU vested interests is a second betrayal that would have dire electoral consequences for coastal MPs
Now coastal MPs must listen to the thousands who turned up at short notice and the many more in the public who support this totemic industry or we will go up through the gears and this will just be a polite start.
Its important that MPs in coastal constituencies remember they serve their constituents who elect them not a dismissive chief whip. If MPs have any inkling of self-preservation they must heed what we are saying and put country before party and remember No deals better than a bad deal and that coastal constituencies count.
WELCOME MPs SUPPORT BUT MUST BE ACTION TO BACK WORDS
We welcome the statements of support from Owen Paterson, John Redwood, Sheryll Murray, Derek Thomas and Luke Pollard but are hugely disappointed that all the other MPs that were invited to show their support weren’t in attendance.
The politicians have now been well told that the transition is unacceptable and why. It’s now time they honoured the vote and walked away as it is clear the EU is not prepared to offer a leaving member a deal worth more than a packet of smarties to dissuade others from leaving.
If they do not and shovel fishing away in desperation for any deal they will be guilty of a conscious second betrayal of thousands of lives, businesses and coastal communities and will be culled in those constituencies in the same way our fleet will be.
Fishermen are not going to take being thrown to the wolves lying down and these protests will just be the start if patriotism, decency and good sense does not prevail.