The government mustn’t wimp out to French threats of belligerent criminality.
French threats to blockade French ferry portsin order to force surrender on access to British waters, don’t worry British fishermen and shouldn’t be heeded by the government.
The simple fact is this – the EU fleet has pillaged 60% of the resources from British waters and built an industry on the back of this free lunch, one which went against all international normality.
A clean Brexit where Britain automatically takes back control and exercises exclusive sovereignty over all our waters under international law means all EU vessels automatically have no right to fish in our waters – resulting in EU markets needing British seafood exports more than ever.
This reliance on a huge portion of EU seafood supply coming from UK waters – through either direct catches by EU vessels or exports from British catches – means the EU and EU seafood businesses can ill-afford to see a staple food supply cut off.
The British government must not be seen to meekly cower at such belligerence and EU seafood businesses and a hungry population in struggling Eurozone countries cannot afford it either.
The French fishermen need to get their head round that the free lunch is over. In a manner no different to Grimsby and Hull when Norway and Iceland took control of their waters during the Cod Wars of the 1970s.
The government mustn’t wimp out – this is a perfect opportunity for Boris Johnson to prove his Churchillian mettle. Fishing mustn’t be traded as the PM promised and he will be judged by his own words that this would be “reprehensible”.
We must take the clean exit with the automatic abrogation of the CFP and its resource shares and access rights. We must then act as a normal independent coastal state where we ONLY allow limited access on an annual basis when Britain MUST have received a reciprocal value of fishing opportunities in return.
The above is the key issue that will determine if the PM has delivered on his own words and an acid test of Brexit.
It is a situation is no different to what Norway and Iceland do with the EU. We can’t have what Stephen Barclay confessed the May leadership was intent on doing which is a roll over of CFP arrangements to avoid a fight.
Any French piracy of illegally fishing UK waters post-Brexit must be met with a zero tolerance approach of impounding and steep fines just like Norway does.
The French fishermen can puff themselves up over blockading their ports – there’s plenty other shipping routes into hungry EU markets and plenty other hungry markets globally.
Britain holds the whip hand here – it mustn’t be “reprehensibly” bartered away a 2nd time!