‘Negotiating’ Prepares Backslide on Brexit!

Fishing for Leave outlines why the idea of ‘negotiating’ on fisheries sets an agenda to backslide on Brexit. Which would betray the industry and the nations greatest natural resource by continuing the status quo of the CFP.

There appears to be a lack of clarity as to what happens with fisheries in regard to Brexit and of particular concern is the idea that we must ‘negotiate’ on fisheries.

The idea that we must negotiate sets an agenda that we will start with the status quo and sets the UK up for the continuation of the current situation of the CFP in all but name.

This would be a great betrayal of the opportunity that Brexit provides, to regain control over all UK waters and all UK resources with nothing to negotiate as outlined below.

Presently, it is expected we will leave the EU by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

The important part for the fishing industry is Section 3, which states: “The Treaties shall cease to apply.”    These few words are key to understanding the implications of the UKs withdrawal and must be understood in order to regain and rebuild UK fishing for the future.

The position/procedure is very clear – when the UK withdraws from the EU as per the provisions of Article 50, the treaties, and the regulations that take their authority from the treaties, cease to apply to the UK.   As the CFP is constructed from regulations, the CFP ceases to apply too.

This means at midnight on the given Brexit day, our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles/median line and ALL resources therein as per international law under UNCLOS 3 automatically revert back to the UK.

The existing quota system and relative stability share out will cease to apply in UK waters as these were created by Regulation 170/1983, now Regulation 1380/2013.

So called historic rights will also cease to apply as these were introduced from the 1971 reference period and were established by our Accession Treaty – Section 2, Article 100, parts 2/3.

The effect of Brexit, and the system of exit as established in Article 50, agreed by all 28 Member States, means the CFP and its mechanisms all cease to apply to the UK – resultantly ALL control and ALL resources automatically return to the UK.

There is nothing to negotiate except future reciprocal arrangement on an individual needs basis where necessary – nothing else. 

The UK starts with a clean slate providing a golden opportunity to establish a UK policy that is fit for purpose, fair to all and restores our industry and coastal communities that have been so devastated to a level worthy of the responsibility of harvesting the nations fisheries resources.

The ball will firmly be back in the UKs court and our Ministers need only sit back, fold their arms, and wait. This is not conjecture but a statement of the legal facts.

That some industry leaders talk of bartering access for relative stability quota is of deep concern.

To do so would recognise and roll relative stability shares and historic rights into UK law saddling the UK industry with the situation and set up of CFP in all but name.

This may suit a minority of vested interests but would betray the opportunity of Brexit to repatriate and rejuvenate UK fishing for the benefit of everyone and this is what we must look to.

Fishing for Leave are working tirelessly to achieve that objective, and the whole Industry and the public.