UKIP fisheries spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP, has blasted a decision by Theresa May’s Conservative government to adopt the terms of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in the forthcoming Great Repeal Bill, saying the decision is “an utter betrayal of the principles of Brexit.”
A seething Mr Hookem stormed; “fishing communities from Scotland to Cornwall voted Leave with the single aim of freeing the UK from the shackles of the EU’s hated CFP. However, in one stroke, the Conservatives have once again betrayed our hard-working fishing communities.”
“The inclusion of CFP fisheries rules in the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ is realising the worst nightmares of British fishing communities!”
Mr Hookem’s comments came after Environment Minister, George Eustice told MP’s that Britain would leave the CFP on leaving the EU, but said the so-called Great Repeal Bill would carry over EU fisheries regulations.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Mr Hookem said, “how can anyone believe that Brexit will be delivered, when such a fundamental Brexit issue has already been capitulated on?”
“I am in no doubt that the decision to include the terms of the CFP in the fallacy that is Mrs May’s Great Repeal Bill, will quickly come back to haunt her.”
Mr Hookem continued, “After 45 years of the CFP, the British fishing industry is on its knees and desperately needs the boost that the reclamation of our legally recognised 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) would provide.”
“Fishing is an industry worth a potential £6.3 billion to the UK economy post-Brexit, and not to realise that is foolhardy in the extreme.”
“Under the post-Brexit terms the Conservatives are setting out, we will have to blindly follow whatever terms Brussel’s dictates to us on fisheries. This is the worst possible type of ‘soft Brexit’ betrayal imaginable and will leave the UK as a junior underling to a very aggressive EU.
“I am in no doubt that we will see howls of protest from people up and down the land once the scale of this betrayal is understood. The fact is, the British fishing industry is an important part of British heritage to people across our country, not just to those who live and work in coastal communities.
“However, it comes as no surprise. Since the launch of the Conservative manifesto, it has been quite clear that the Conservative would be offering Britain’s fish to Brussels on a plate; and is something I have been warning of for months.