The House of Lords Brexit-Fisheries reports findings– that British fishing “needs EU market access” – is ‘hogwash’ among it’s many other inaccurate and dubious assertions.
Fishing for Leave submitted an extensive report in reply to the House of Lords committee. (summary and full report to download here- http://ffl.org.uk/fishing-for-leave-house-of-lords-submission/)
Despite Fishing for Leave, and all other industry representation, asserting that Brexit is only a golden opportunity to reclaim and rebuild British fishing, the Lords have chosen to prejudice this report with Remain rhetoric.
Their Lordships have deliberately joined Trade and Access to our waters together – they are two entirely separate things. They only become related if they are to be bartered one against the other.
The Lords warning that the industry “shouldn’t get it’s hopes too high” and that “the fate of those fish stocks was closely linked to the UK’s wider interests” confirms the industries resentments.
That rather than vigorously stand up for Britain’s national interest and reclaim our greatest natural renewable resource fishing will be betrayed a second time for the same reasons – because of the establishments craven desperation to remain closely linked to the EU.
Fishing for Leave would like to highlight two points before we compile and in-depth response.
1)Free Market Access – Although advantageous to have tariff free access to the EU it isn’t critical when weighed against the nearly £1bn of our huge resources we reclaim.
Market access should not override the reclamation of our fisheries resources within our waters (EEZ). These automatically return to entire British control unless sold out with the Great “Repeal” Bill by adopting the EU Common Fisheries Policy into UK law.
The fundamentally obvious truism applies: ‘You Have to be able to Catch it before you can Sell it’.
It is no use having tariff free access to markets if 59% of Britain’s rich fisheries resources is already taken to those markets for free by EU vessels.
To reclaim our fish stocks for our exclusive benefit will increase the EU’s necessity to buy fish from us not lessen it. Leaving the single market and the EU also opens far bigger hungry world markets.
If fishermen who run the business that depend on the market are not unduly concerned, then why the politicians?
2)- ‘Fish know no boundaries’- Despite Fishing for Leave extensively detailing the legal realities of UK withdrawal in regard to fisheries the Lords have defaulted to the political buzz words that ‘Fish know no boundaries’.
As fisherman, with our actual expertise, fish do know boundaries- but it is of their natural habitat and they reside in specific areas.
This pathetic political justification, that there is some race track of fish swimming in a circle around the North Sea, does not stack up with reality.
Fish may not know man made boundaries but international law clearly states that all resources within a countries waters belong to that nation.
The precedent of defending and husbanding the nations fisheries resources is set by Norway, Iceland and Faroe who do so rigorously.
This report is the typical, negative, pessimistic, defeatist anti-British thinking that the establishment is saturated with.
What this report exemplifies graphically is that the establishment are so cravenly pro-EU, and sill massively out of touch, that even now, with the largest mandate by the British people behind them, they still cannot see past the “wonders” of the EU and vigorously defend the national interest.
Our EEZ and fisheries belong entirely to the nation – there’s nothing to negotiate as the treaties cease to apply on exit and it’s a clean slate.
We do not need access to other waters with only 15% of UK catches taken in EU waters. Any loss is more than compensated for with the huge volume of fisheries resources repatriated to the UK.
If the EU were allowed unlimited access to our farm land, could take 58% of the animals, of which half were discarded dead at the side of the road and then sell them back to us there would be national rage of biblical proportions but that is what is happening at sea.
That their Lordships want to stay as “closely aligned” to this EU system should tell the people that, if they can get away with it, Brexit is going to be betrayed
British fishing should be worth £1.4bn annually and 22,000 jobs unless the establishment sell fishing out a second time.
British fishing was regarded as “expendable” during our accession resulting in the decimation of the UK industry and communities– this MUST NOT happen again. This would be a fundamental and dire sell out of Brexit and political suicide to do so.
Fishing will be the acid test of Brexit – Let’s hope the MP’s have more courage than the Lords!