Mike Hookem MEP has accused Michael Gove of “beginning the sell out” of the British fishing industry and “showing his true colours”, after the Danish newspaper, Finans, reported the Environment Minister had suggested “Danish fishermen will still be able to catch large amounts of fish in British waters, even if the British leave the EU.”
Michael Gove is also reported to have told representatives of the Danish food industry that “Britain has no fish cutters and production facilities enough to catch all the fish in British waters. [sic]”
Mr Hookem, UKIP’s fisheries spokesman, blasted the comments saying, “Gove’s comments prove the Conservatives are not serious about regaining our fishing grounds and are instead looking to barter them away around Europe in return for Brexit concessions.”
“As in Edward Heath’s day, the Conservatives are doing nothing more than stringing the British fishing industry along with vague promises, when it is obvious they fully intend to sell Britain’s rich fishing rights back to the EU post-Brexit."
Speaking from his home city of Hull, Mr Hookem continued, “The second betrayal of the fishing industry has been on the cards since the Conservative’s failed to mention reclaiming our 200-mile fishing limit in their manifesto. The 200 mile EEZ was a crucial demand of those who fought for Brexit and is something we are entitled to under international law.”
“The fact that Gove is now openly telling EU fishing nations that they will still have access to British waters post-Brexit proves a second Conservative betrayal of the British fishing industry is all but inevitable.”
“It does not matter a damn that the British fishing industry may not currently have the capacity to process all the fish caught in British waters. This is nothing more than an excuse!”
“With firm commitments from the Government and the inclusion of legislation in the new Fisheries Bill that demands all fish caught in British waters are landed here; entrepreneurs within the fishing industry would find the investment and open new facilities to match the increased demand.”
“Not only would this move bring large amounts of revenue into the UK, but it would also help to kick start the regeneration and bring much needed jobs to many struggling coastal communities.”
“However, who is going to start investing when there is still so much uncertainty? Michael Gove and the Government need to take positive steps to show they are committed to reclaiming our waters, our fishing and our fishing industry, rather than making vague promises on one side, yet making the opposite promise on the other.
“However, the problem is that the Conservatives neither understand or care about the fishing industry and see it as nothing more than a bargaining chip to be used at their leisure.”
Article in Finans (http://finans.dk/…/britisk-minister-giver-danske-fiskere-…/…)
Translated from the Danish
British minister gives Danish fishermen new hope: Continued access to British waters after Brexit
One of the most prominent ministers in the British government has been in Denmark to hold meetings with representatives of Danish fisheries and food industry. For Danish fishing, the meeting offered surprisingly positive news.
The widespread fear that brexit will torpedo Danish fishery now seems to be able to decline. New signals from British food minister Michael Gove suggest that Danish fishermen will still be able to catch large amounts of fish in British waters, even if the British leave the EU.
During a visit to Jutland, Gove told representatives of the food industry that Britain has no fish cutters and production facilities enough to catch all the fish in British waters.
This is positive for fishermen in Denmark, France and Spain, for brexit is a potential disaster for Danish fishing, which on average pays 40 per cent. Of catches in British waters.
In the profession, they have long feared that after brexit the British will seriously threaten to enforce a 200-mile limit and throw out all foreign fishermen.
Now, however, one of the UK's most prominent ministers, Environment and Food Minister Michael Gove, sends more conciliatory and calming signals to Danish fishermen. On Monday, Michael Gove was in Jutland, where he visited Arla and Danish Crown, among other things, and held meetings with representatives of the Danish fisheries and food industry.
"Michael Gove stated at the meeting that the British do not have the capacity to catch and process all the fish in British waters. Therefore, fishermen from Denmark and other EU countries will continue to have access to British waters after brexit, declared the minister. It is a logical announcement, but it is still very positive and a little surprising that it comes from a British prime minister so early in the negotiation process, "said Niels Wichmann, Managing Director of the Danish Fisheries Association, who attended the meeting.
He acknowledges that it is still unclear whether the British negotiating game would be to keep foreign fishermen 100 or 50 per cent. Of current catches.
"Our position is that the current distribution of the catches must be preserved, but so far we are pleased just that the British Minister reports as positive," says Niels Wichmann.
The same setting has been at DPPO which carry the large industrial fishermen's interests. The Danish industrial fishermen collect on average 70 per cent. of their catches in British waters and is probably the Danish industry that has most caught in Brexit for handlingerne.
"It is very positive that the British minister at the meeting clearly stated that fishermen from Denmark and other EU countries will still have access to British waters after brexit. The minister did not know how much of the catches the British are prepared to keep foreign fishermen. The actual level is said to be absolutely crucial, but right now it's just gratifying that the British are constructive and do not slam the door, "says Esben Sverdrup-Jensen, Director of Industrial Fisheries Industry Association.
It is a logical announcement, but it is still very positive and a little surprising that it comes from a British prime minister so early in the negotiation process.
Niels Wichmann, Managing Director of the Danish Fisheries Association
He participated in the meeting with Michael Gove, one of the highest-profile EU opponents in the British government. In 2016, together with the current Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, Gove formed the top leadership of the UK Vote Release campaign, which won a referendum on the EU in June 2016.
Michael Gove's food ministry attaches importance to the Jutland Posten to a crucial point for the EU opponents, namely that the British themselves decide on their waters. In a written comment, a spokesman from the ministry states:
"The EU withdrawal implies that Britain has control over its waters. And for the first time in 50 years we have the opportunity to assign fishing rights to other countries on our terms.
The spokesman adds:
"We will allocate quotas based on what is scientifically sustainable to ensure that we have a healthy maritime environment and a profitable fishing industry."
Despite the positive signals from the British minister, however, Danish fishermen are not to be excited too early. Because of the situation, British fishermen are ready, and their trade organizations can very much shout out about "treason" if the British government gives concessions to foreign fishermen.
The area is delicate to the conservative British government. The Conservatives were also in power and thus responsible when Britain entered the EC and became part of a system that has allocated foreign fishermen the right to capture 60-70 per cent. Of fish in British waters.