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Fishing and the UK: Taking back control… July 11, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

It’s odd, my definition of ‘taking back control’ must be very different to that used in England. And that’s odd in itself because I was born there – though granted almost immediately fled the scene (or was abducted to this fine island), and have one side of my family being English from time immemorial (Birmingham, seeing as you asked – good place, great hard rock and metal from there and the Black Country).

For reading this in the Guardian… I see that:

British fishermen will face annual negotiations to secure their fishing rights in shared waters from 2020, while other EU countries may lose many of their current rights to fish in British waters, according to a government white paper on fishing after Brexit.
Sustainable Fisheries for Future Generations, published on Wednesday, provided the first glimpse into how the UK’s fishing industry will change after Brexit. Its premise, to be introduced in a fisheries bill, is that the UK should have full control of its waters and the ability to set its own quotas for UK-based vessels.

But hold on… for equivocation is there almost from the off:

The paper promises a “fairer share” for UK fleets, instead of the “poor deal” they currently have.


As part of changes to the EU’s common fisheries policy, the old system of gruelling annual negotiations in Brussels over quotas is being phased out in favour of “multiyear plans” based on scientific advice as to the maximum sustainable yield.
This is intended to give fishing fleets the ability to plan and invest in vessels, equipment and labour, and to protect vulnerable stocks. But according to the white paper, the UK will instead follow Norway’s example in re-examining fishing rights every year.

Sounds great (though Norway, Norway, that reminds me of something, something about options)…but…

This is complex, however, as many of the UK fleet’s key fishing grounds such as the North Sea, the Channel and the Irish Sea are shared. Britain will face tough annual renegotiations, as EU member states do not want to give up their lucrative rights in shared fishing grounds.

And as noted elsewhere already there are clear indications that the years as a member of the EEC/EC/EU has ceded certain rights to other nations (as indeed the UK has gained rights in EU waters during the same time) which are acquired and not relinquishable. This is going to fun.

Richard North puts it perfectly:

What is significant about White Paper, though, is something that none of the media have picked up – and nor are they likely to. Mr Gove and his team have approached the post-Brexit fishing policy in exactly the same way that the government is currently managing the main Brexit negotiations – by acting as if the EU did not have a view on the issues.


1. Jim Monaghan - July 11, 2018

Why has no politician in Ireland challenge the basis of the UK using Rockall. I appreciate that for most, Loftus was a crank, but on Rockall, he had a point. Personally, I don’t think it should be a basis for territorial waters, but it is.


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