Editor’s Note ~ This is the second half of a two-part story by Fishing for Leave. You can read the first part here on Independence Daily.
Third, the government must not falter from safeguarding the UKs rightful resources under UNCLOS. The entire CFP and all its access and quota shares “cease to apply” to the UK on exit. The UK will AUTOMATICALLY be an independent coastal state with complete exclusive sovereign rights over all waters and resources within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as we revert to international law under UNCLOS – the Withdrawal Agreement Transition period till 31st December 2020 sadly negates this for a year as we have agreed to re-obey the CFP after exit until this date.
The key point is the EU has no legal right to fish in British waters after 2020, nor to claim inflated quotas for resources that are predominantly in British waters. The EU will have to cut its cloth to reflect the loss of British waters from the common EU pot in order to comply with UNCLOS obligations to fish its waters sustainably. The EU has no right or legal standing to claim 90% of channel Cod, Haddock and Whiting quota nor North Sea Herring when 60-90% of catches are in British waters.
All other nations work on the international principle of ‘Zonal Attachment’ – where a nation has shares of resources based on the predominance of species in its waters.
The UK must not falter from the insistence that any access or quota swaps is predicated on the EU cutting its cloth and recognising the UKs rightful share of resources under the international principle of Zonal Attachment as is the case with independent coastal states.
Fourth, the UK must ensure that “non-discrimination” means what it is meant to under the EUs treaties – that there is no differentiation between the nationals of different member states. The key is that since the UK is no longer a member state, this doesn’t apply to the UK in the sense the EU hopes to contort it to – that there is no discrimination between EU vessels and UK vessels in accessing one another’s waters. This is a non-starter! “Non-discrimination” must only mean that the UK will apply any limited annual access the EU is granted equally to all EU vessels regardless of their member state origin.
Fifth, and most importantly for the ability to rectify the damage to our marine environment caused by the ineptitude of the CFP – so we can husband our waters using the best management and science available as UNCLOS obliges – there must be no adherence to the CFP or its rules in any form under the guise of a “level playing field”. This provision that seeks regulatory alignment MUST NOT be applied to fishing. To genuinely deliver being an independent coastal state as often promised we must be entirely free to exercise exclusive sovereignty over all our waters and resources so as to be able to implement bespoke British policy unimpeded by the CFP.
Lastly, the government must tell the EU to get stuffed and not yield to the EUs hollow threats on market access for either UK seafood or financial services in return for the ability to continue the EU fleets plunder of UK waters. British seafood exports are in high demand in EU markets, the loss of ability of the EU fleet to plunder 60% of Britain’s resources (representing 1/3rd of their NE Atlantic catches) will make those markets even more dependent on British exports.
They need British seafood as a diet staple with many species not readily found elsewhere. The EU and Eurozone also has a critical dependency on the might of British financial markets and the City of London as one of the worlds eminent financial centers. The idea that the EU is going to spite either its financial or seafood necessity on British suppliers to keep their fishing fleet in our waters is a hollow piece of brinkmanship.
Tariffs are not punitive – as recognised by the EU itself. Indeed, currency fluctuations offset them – a weaker pound has already benefited exporters hugely far offsetting tariffs. The other Nordic countries export huge volumes of seafood despite tariffs, having chosen these rather than sacrifice their fishing independence.
Any threats by EU (French) fishermen to cause channel port disruption should also not be yielded to as Steve Barclay suggested to the EU exit committee in June 2019. Any blockades will be short term, any British government should never yield to short term ransom demands and there are alternative routes around French ports seafood hauliers are preparing to use.
Multi Billion Pound Opportunity With Political Deliverance
It’s as simple as this. Brexit’s the chance to take back control and rewrite policy to one that works with our marine environment. Policy which will husband our greatest natural resource for generations to come.
Repatriating our rightful resources sees a worth of some £6-8bn in processed value, this is before ancillary industries are accounted for. It’s a huge prize to rural coastal communities and the economy as a whole.
Britain has the full weight of international law on her side and the EUs own Article 50 entirely abrogates the CFP and all access right and quota shares. We don’t require or need to grant access and should only do so on a limited annual basis and only when a fair reciprocal swap of fishing opportunities is received in return.
Their seafood and financial markets need us more than we need them – seafood and capital flows globally to hungry purchasers worldwide. Immediate port disruption is a short-term inconvenience when weighted against the colossal opportunity of taking back control.
Politically it exorcises the ghost of Heath hats a millstone round Conservative necks. Conversely a second deliberate sacrifice of British fishing which is totemic in the publics mind will hammer and haunt the Conservatives for decades.
Britain and the government has everything to gain and it can only be lost through weakness and ineptitude. The acid test has arrived. The Johnson government will be judged on it and must deliver for their sake and ours.
Will it be a Happy New Year…. we hope so and wish everyone all the best for what we hope is the beginning of a bright future.