EU Threats On Fishing For Finance Are Hollow – The Real Threat Is A Surrender Of Fishing Breaking The Union
The EU is now on a daily basis demanding that Britain roll over current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) access and quota shares. Fishing for Leave are as equally angry with the response of government and some media in London to these demands as to the EU’s demands themselves.
There seems to be a lack of perception and tone deafness among the establishment as to the political fall-out that would be caused by surrendering to EU demands on fishing. Ted Heath has haunted the Conservatives for decades.
This surrender was the bread and butter that sustained the SNP in fishing constituencies in North East Scotland for decades. The opportunity of Brexit to right Heaths wrong- and SNP opposition to Brexit - is the reason those seats turned Tory.
A second more deliberate surrender will see the rise of SNP support in Scotland to levels that will make it near impossible to avoid the break-up of Great Britain and the UK with it.
We are furious at the lack of criticism, by both government and some media, of the false narrative the EU is trying to build that it is a fait accompli that fishing must be sacrificed for a deal
EUs threats are absolutely hollow brinkmanship. People must remember these critical points;
- That 70% of UK catches go to the continent means the EU is desperately dependent on UK seafood exports – it is a staple of southern Europe’s diet. That dependency will only increase to critical if the EU fleet is denied the ability to roll over the current unlimited, exploitationary access to UK waters to pillage 60% of our fish which represents a third of their catches.”
- The EU fleet is automatically out and we repatriate our resources as per international law if there is no agreement on fisheries – we don’t need to negotiate anything.
- Many of the species the EU desires from UK waters aren’t readily sourced anywhere else, UK seafood is prized globally and can divert to these markets and tariffs and extra paper work are little impediment to the British industry – especially when weighed against the £6-8bn of resources available if we repatriate what is rightfully ours by ending current unfair quota shares where we contribute 50% of the waters and 60% of the catches but only get 25% of the quotas.
- The EU is heavily reliant on UK financial services & the city of London is a global powerhouse that can also diverge and divest into other markets.
So, who’s threatening who here?
We are angry, dismayed and worried at both the reason behind some of the media parroting the EU narrative without considering and probing the points above, and also why Downing Street seem emollient to the EUs hollow threats rather than swatting them down categorically – this is making the industry very jittery.
We’d think folk in HMG would be hitting back a bit harder given what’s at stake with fishing being electorally totemic, especially given the EUs threats being hollow brinkmanship.
It’s all very well re-deploying Mrs Mays worn out words of saying “we will take back control and be independent coastal state” – that happens just by virtue of terminating our membership – but if we sign up to roll over current access and quotas along with surrendering to the Political Declaration terms of regulatory alignment through a level playing field then it is independence in name only.
Likewise, Boris can say he won’t trade fishing away – great – but that could mean he just won’t go below the status quo. Fishing is totemic to millions – they don’t expect taking back control to mean business as usual – they expect it to mean FULL control of our waters, unhindered by the CFP, and repatriating our rightful share of resources worth £6-8bn billions to coastal communities.”
If the government genuinely recognises this public demand and means to deliver then the minimum that MUST be achieved is;
- NO roll over of current access & quota shares and ANY fisheries agreement should be on a strictly ANNUAL basis & any access or quota swaps should ONLY be agreed when the UK receives a reciprocal value of fishing opportunities
- A move to the international principle of Zonal Attachment - where nations have shares of stocks based on the predominance in their waters - & the EU has to cut its cloth to reflect the loss of UK waters to ensure it meets UNCLOS obligation to fish its waters sustainably.
- Complete freedom from the CFP so we are free to exercise exclusive sovereignty over all our waters and resources as per international law. So we have the freedom to implement fit for purpose British policy to husband our water s and resources for generations to come.
These three points are what the government will be judged against. They are all fair & simple as they mean working with the EU in the same way as the other Nordic countries do.
It is as simple as this - the EU’s threats are hollow, both economically and diplomatically. We needn’t trade fishing or financial services. The billions of resources we can repatriate to rural coastal communities is not insignificant as some like to say and is as equal to any disruption the EU can inflict on the global power-house that is the city of London.
We appeal to Boris and his team to realise there is a hell of a lot more riding on fishing than fishermen, finance or economics. If there is a second deliberate sacrifice of British fishing, which is totemic in the public’s mind, it will hammer and haunt the Conservatives more than Ted Heath.
They will lose coastal constituencies, especially those Scots constituencies upon which the Union depends. That is the critical point – fishing doesn’t stand in isolation – it’s surrender can easily break the back of the Union of Great Britain – that is a far higher price than any marginal benefit any trade off for fishing will ever obtain.