Fishing for Leave are glad that we now have a Brexit parliament and that the spectre of a Remain Parliament coalition that would stymie and kill Brexit has been crushed.
We give our commiserations to all those who put themselves forward but missed out this time round and congratulations to all those who won their seat – we implore them to remain faithful to their electors and be their constituencies voice in Westminster rather than Westminster’s voice in their constituency.
We are sad to see some good MPs lost and some good candidates miss out – particular commiserations to Ross Thompson, who was a committed Brexiteer and one of those to principally oppose May’s dire deal from the outset.
We also give our best wishes to Sue Hayman – who, despite Labour’s ambiguity on Brexit (with many in opposition to it) was prepared to fight hard for Britain’s fishing alongside Luke Pollard (who keeps his seat) – particularly on the Fisheries Bill to ensure new fair policy for all fishermen with a strong economic link.
We hope her Conservative replacement can be equally forthright in speaking truth to power and represent an area that could see real, multi-million pound benefit from a genuine taking back control of all our waters and decent, new, fully independent British policy.
It would have been good to see some Brexit Party MPs elected to provide a Brexit voice in Parliament independent of the Conservative Party – it is a pity, particularly in seats like Hartlepool that the Conservatives and Brexit Party could not have reached accommodation to ensure a Brexiteer was elected.
It is clear millions of people have swallowed hard against traditional party loyalties, and in good faith have lent the Conservatives their vote to give them a (final?) chance to make amends for Mrs May’s performance and to genuinely Get Brexit Done. The Conservative can’t scorn it.
With a thumping majority, and with the country well versed on the issue, there can be no excuse for any more dither, delay or trying to flog a pig in lipstick Brexit In Name Only. Made clear by both the thorough rejection of the Remain cause in every election since the referendum AND by the thumping defeat Mrs May received with the rank unpopularity of her deal.
Mr Johnson has promised a swift trade deal. Promised we will take back control of immigration with a points-based system. Promised in the manifesto we will take back FULL control of our waters and that he won’t sacrifice fishing for a trade deal – something he told the Commons in July was a “reprehensible” thing to have been done in the 1970s.
We truly hope both Mr Johnson and his Conservative MPs deliver. As Fishing for Leave have continually said we whole heartedly support this but we will not shirk from pointing out that these are just fine words which only have substance if delivered – something the terms of the Political Declaration which Mr Johnson is about to sign Britain upto in a legally internationally binding treaty would make near impossible.
We will be legally obliged by Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement to adopt the Political Declaration as the basis of ANY future deal. If anyone doubts this the EU has made it crystal clear that if Britain doesn’t sacrifice fishing then there will be no trade deal – simples.
The Political Declaration says fishing MUST be traded as “part of the wider economic partnership” and any agreement must be based on “non-discrimination” (equal access) and a regulatory “level playing field”. It will also curtail our ability to curb EU owned but UK registered “Flagships” (let alone stop a further proliferation) by maintaining unlimited freedom of establishment under paragraph 29.
For this reason – before the PM signs up to a deal that will see him legally blackmailed on fishing – he MUST use his unassailable domestic position to push the EU to remove the fishing terms from the Political Declaration.
The Transition, where we re-obey all EU law on membership minus, is also a huge threat to fishing (and other British industries) – we welcome the PMs commitment that the Transition will end by 2021 – this is crucial as a long transition will expose British industry to any detrimental legislation the EU wishes to impose.
As it is unlikely that the EU will negotiate a good deal by the ratification cut-off date this summer – nor drop its demands on sacrificing fishing or continued free movement – then the Conservatives must prepare to walk away with No Deal. Only a serious threat to do so will give any chance of negotiating a simple free trade deal rather than a deal which seeks to envelope Britain in permanent fealty to the EU and its policies in a Brexit In Name Only.
We implore the PM and his team to stand strong. We implore his MPs to do so too. Otherwise the vote they have achieved since the collapse of the Conservative vote in the EU referendum will evaporate again.
You have been given a chance to make this country (and industries like our fishing) fly – we implore you – don’t blow it as Mrs May nearly did.