Friday 2nd March 2018
UKIP Fisheries Spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP, has blasted Theresa the appeaser’s Mansion House speech saying, “May has now set out how she will betray the UK fishing industry,” and that the Tories have "totally collapsed under EU pressure to allow continued access to UK fishing grounds post-Brexit."
Mr Hookem's comments came after Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced in her Mansion House speech this afternoon (2nd March 2018), that while the UK would be leaving the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP); the UK would continue to work together with the EU on fisheries after March 2019.
Mr Hookem - a member of the European Parliament's powerful Fisheries Committee - said, "despite the Government's smoke and mirrors approach to fisheries since the UK voted to leave the EU, it is now quite clear that the UK fishing industry is to be sold down the river post-Brexit."
"The Prime Minister was virtually quoting from the EU's book of phraseology on fisheries and Brexit!
"For "continuing to work" together, read, continued dictation of fishing rules from Brussels. For continuing to "manage shared stocks," read, continued EU pillaging of fish stocks from UK waters; and for "continued reciprocal access", read, continued domination of UK waters by EU fishing vessels!
"The simple fact is, most British fishermen do not want access to EU waters! They want a fair crack at catching some of the millions of tons of fish taken from British waters each year by EU vessels. The British fleet caught 111,000 tonnes of fish from EU waters last year, but EU vessels caught 683,000 tonnes in British waters (MMO Report, Oct 2017).
"How is that 'protecting jobs and security' or 'strengthening our union of people' Mrs May?
"And while the Prime Minister was keen to outline how "no community in Britain would ever be left behind again," she seems to be forgetting the continued loss of thousands of jobs in the coastal communities up and down the country for allowing the status quo of the CFP to continue. The fact is, the British fishing industry is being slowly but surely killed off by ever-tightening EU quotas; more and more flagships; and less and less interest from government in supporting the industry.
"And before the remain lobby wheel out the tired old, and predictable line of "there are no borders for fish in the sea," I say, I'm glad that’s the case. That means that EU vessels should have no problem catching fish in Dutch, French, Belgian or Danish waters if they are excluded from British waters!
"While we need to continue to work with the international community on setting levels of responsible and sustainable fishing in British waters, we can no longer allow the EU to dictate to the UK what we can and can't catch in our waters; especially when the price of that is allowing them to take the lion's share for themselves!"