UKIP Fisheries Spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP, has blasted “desperate attempts” by MEPs to “grab” UK fish stocks following Brexit saying, “UK waters and fish stocks must return to UK control, post-Brexit.”
Memos leaked to a British newspaper state that “MEPs have drafted seven provisions to be included in Britain’s “exit agreement”, including the stipulation that there will be “no increase to the UK’s share of fishing opportunities for jointly fished stocks*.”
Speaking of the leaked memos, Hull-born MEP, Mr Hookem said, “This is nothing more than the EU wanting to have their cake and eat it. Time and again we are told the UK will not get any ‘special deals’ post-Brexit. Well, in that case, it should work both ways, and UK waters must return to UK control regardless of what the EU want!”
“In 1973, the government sold out the fishing industry. This cannot happen again. Under the terms of paragraph three of Article 50, all treaties including the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) will “cease to apply” to the UK, and Britain's waters will be protected by a 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) under international law. This means there will be no such thing as ‘jointly fished stocks’ when we leave the EU.
“Anything less than getting back full control of our waters post-Brexit will be another utter betrayal of the fishing industry. Fishermen knew in 1972 that their industry had been stolen from them by politicians desperate to get into the EEC ‘club’ and Brexit is our opportunity to retake control our waters.
“A recent report stated that the British fishing industry could be worth as much as £6.3 billion to the UK economy in the post-Brexit age, and what is needed are solid plans to capitalise on that, not use the fishing industry as a bargaining chip for concessions in other areas of the negotiations.”
“Essentially, this makes the fishing industry a critical acid test of whether we are going to get full control of our country back following Brexit or let the EU continue to dictate to us.
“However, it is not unexpected that the EU would make a grab for UK fish stocks when you consider that we currently have billions of pounds’ worth of fish caught in UK waters by EU vessels.
“It is obvious they would be desperate to cling on to that, but it is up to our elected politicians to make sure that does not happen.”
*Guardian – 15th February 2017
UK fishermen may not win 'waters back' after Brexit, EU memo reveals
Fishing for Leave Report on the Fishing Industry post-Brexit
Paragraph 3, Article 50
The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.