UKIP MEP and European Parliament Fisheries Committee member, Mike Hookem, has blasted Theresa May for “using UK fishing grounds as a Brexit bargaining chip”, saying; “the Prime Minister’s reply to a direct question in the Commons was nothing more than a political fudge that confirms our fishing rights will be on the table in negotiations.”
“The Prime Minister’s betrayal will devastate people in fishing communities up and down the country who have put their trust in Mrs May to deliver the Brexit they voted for,” added Mr Hookem.
Mr Hookem’s comments came after the Prime Minister confirmed to the House of Commons during PMQs that fishing would form “part of the agreement that we need to enter into for the implementation period, this [the CFP] and other issues will form part of that agreement.”
Speaking from Brussels, Mr Hookem said, “After months of mixed messages and vague assurances, the Prime Minister has finally let the cat out of the bag and confirmed we have been saying for months; that the Conservatives intend to use UK fishing rights as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations.”
“It is no wonder the members of the European Parliament’s fisheries committee have been so smug in assuring that little will change for EU fishing post-Brexit.
“Retaining the CFP for a further two years after Brexit in March 2019 will see yet more British fishing businesses go to the wall, and allow billions of pounds worth of fish to be removed from UK seas by EU vessels.
“It is time Theresa May and the Government came clean with the fishing industry and stopped giving mixed messages.”
“It is about time the Government stopped the smoke and mirrors and came clean with fishermen on whether they intend to reclaim our 200-mile limit and reclaim our fishing grounds.
“The simple fact is, the British people did not vote to half leave the EU, nor did they vote to be hanging on until 2021 to become an independent nation.
“The people of the UK voted to be an independent country free of the EU. At the end of the day, it’s our seas and our fish and the people of Britain want them back!”