Friday, 2 February 2018


The majority of fishermen voted to leave the EU having been promised that this government would "Take back control".

Crusading website Fishing for Leave fires a huge salvo of questions across the bows of Her Majesty's Government today. In an attempt to get some kind of clarification that, this government, despite the promises and the rhetoric so often bandied about under the emotional headline, 'We will take back control' will not be selling out the fishing industry on the way out of the EU as previous Tory Prime Minister Ted Heath's government did when we joined the EU!

"Take back control" Another reminder what Fisheries Minister George Eustace said on national TV ahead after the referendum and ahead of exit negotiations.

So, summing up in FFls post today:

Existential Threat to the Fishing Industry

"If we fail to break free from the CFP the EU will be free to implement policy changes to our detriment. We doubt the EU27 would feel charitable to their political prisoner who has no representation but abundant fishing waters.

Continuation of the ill-conceived EU quota system and discard ban is the existential threat that could be used to finish what’s left of our Britain’s fishing fleet allowing the EU to claim the ‘surplus’ that Britain would no longer have the capacity to catch.

Rather than address the cause of discards – quotas, the EU has banned the symptoms – discards. Now when a vessel exhausts its lowest quota it must cease fishing. ‘Choke species’ will see vessels tied up early and, according to official government Seafish statistics, 60% of the fleet will go bankrupt.

If a sizeable portion of the UK fleet is lost international law under UNCLOS Article 62.2 which says; ‘Where a coastal State does not have the capacity to harvest the entire allowable catch, it shall… give other States access to the ‘surplus’.

Between the EU having the opportunity to claim “continuity of rights” even if proved wrong they could drag out Britain being trapped in the CFP and its quota system and discard ban for enough time to fishing our fleet off.

Once we have lost our industry there is no way back from this Catch 22– if we do not have the fleet we cannot catch the “surplus” and if we do not have the “surplus” we cannot maintain a fleet. With this we will also lose a generation and their skills which are irretrievable.

The UK political establishment of all hues would not be forgiven for betraying coastal communities a second time.

A transition destroys the opportunity of repatriating all Britain’s waters and resources worth between £6-8bn annually to national control. This would allow bespoke, environmentally fit-for-purpose UK policy that would benefit all fishermen to help rejuvenate our coastal communities.

As Minister Eustice promised we could rebalance the shares of resources where we, have the EU fleet catching 60% of the fish in our waters but receive only 25% of the Total Allowable Catches even though we have 50% of the waters.

This transition is the reverse of this and something exceptional that is within touching distance and what the public in constituencies across our land expect to see on this totemic and evocative issue.

The government and MPs must refuse the “transition” terms and discontinue the CFP entirely on 29th March 2019 or we will consign another British industry to museum and memory.

That Theresa May has known this all along means she, and her remain minded officials, are fully complicit in the embryonic stages of a second betrayal and sell out of Britain’s fishing industry.


For too long people have bought the government rhetoric. The PM and Ministers have repeated;

“We will be leaving the Common Fisheries Policy on March 29, 2019”.

This spin has never been a commitment nor indication of a clean Brexit for fisheries. Those who kept citing these words have been either mendacious or naive to the reality of a Transition.

The government has known all along what the transition meant. The PM always continues, that;

Leaving the CFP and leaving the CAP” wouldn’t give the opportunity until “post that implementation(transition) period – to actually introduce arrangements that work for the United Kingdom. The arrangement that pertains to fisheries during that implementation period will, of course, be part of the negotiations for that implementation period”.

We may officially “leave” the CFP on 29th March 2019 but we’ll re-obey entire EU Acquis as part of the “transition” period after Article 50 officially terminates the UKs membership – we will have left in name only."

Read the full post here written by Njordr AB