Friday, 8 December 2017

The good ship Brexit is now 'underway' but not necessarily 'making' way

Underway or Making way?

The word 'underway' means a vessel is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground. Freed from any of those encumbrances the vessel is 'making way'

With the UK given the green light to negotiate the terms of today's Brexit deal, CFPO chairman, Paul Trebilcock reminds us why so many UK fishermen voted to support Brexit in the first place:

 ”The fishing industry should be seen as the litmus test of a successful Brexit. The UK fishing industry was badly let down by politicians in 1973. Entry conditions to the EEC (EU as was) included the principal of equal access to a common resource*. This denied us all the benefits that naturally flow from being an independent coastal state. We look forward to a new era of sustainable prosperity based on that altered status”

*Thanks largely to Ted Heath, Conservative Prime Minister in 1973 who traded those fishing rights away in return for non-fishing trade advantages with Europe. 

Many fishermen wanted out of the EU in order to 'take back control' of their waters.

Though, as many are pointing out thew wording of the agreement is already ringing alarm bells in fishing circles given, as many tweeted the contents of one crucial phrase:

Not a solution that Mick Mahon - long-time leave campainger - would be happy with.

Time and time again politicians, in particular Michael Gove, have promised to "take back control" - and fishermen, among many others, will look to hold him to his word.

Perhaps best summed up by the latest campaign bus...

Paul Trebilcock shortly heads off to Brussels ahead of this year's Fisheries Council meeting to settle the quotas for next year based on scientific advice from ICES and others - should prove interesting!

Radio 4's PM programme went to Grimsby fish market to sound out the feelings ahead of the decision taken over night.