Fishermen’s organisation Fishing for Leave – who organised the referendum Thames Flotilla – will stage yet another audacious event to highlight “the death sentence’ Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement or MPs thwarting Brexit presents to British fishing and coastal communities”.
On Friday 29th March a 32ft fishing boat on a lorry will be escorted by a pipe band along the Strand (approx. 1330), Round Trafalgar Square and down Whitehall to Parliament Square (eta approx. 1430)
Fishing for Leave are throwing their weight behind Brexit groups – and increasing public calls – for the government to scrap the loathed Withdrawal Agreement & for MPs to honour the Brexit vote by ensuring Britain leaves the EU with No Deal.
In a statement Fishing for Leave said:
The terms of the Withdrawal Agreement are an existential threat to fishing and a total betrayal of Brexit and Britain. It means a second surrender of our industry and coastal communities and places a constitutional bomb under democracy.
The protests purpose is to remind our MPs who we elect that they must honour Brexit and that people won’t tolerate their disgraceful anti-democratic behaviour. It is also to highlight our industry’s plight as symbolic of EU mis-rule to a public who are equally sickened by the government’s actions.
This is our last chance to bludgeon MPs to stop this surrender of Britain, Brexit and one of our country’s greatest renewable resource. One which can support a world leading £6-8bn industry that will support generations to come in coastal communities.
Aaron Brown of FFL said:
“The Withdrawal Agreement represents a death sentence for the industry, as the EU will be free to enforce and impose detrimental rules on us to cull what’s left of the UK fleet.”
The Withdrawal Agreement will become an internationally binding treaty from which we can never escape as outlined by the governments Attorney General.“
Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement the government has agreed to re-obey all EU law post-Brexit for a 2-4 year Transition. Fishing for Leave highlight this means their already struggling industry will remain ‘trapped’ in the disastrous CFP until possibly January 2023.
Fishing for Leave say this would allow the EU to enforce any detrimental laws to cull what is left of Britain’s fishing industry. Saying the EU would be free to slash quotas Britain is dependent upon; abolish the twelve-mile limit; and trade UK resources in international deals.
Of particular horror to British fishermen is that the Withdrawal Agreement would mean the EU can demand full enforcement of the EU discard ban which fishermen say is ill-founded.
Under Discard ban rules a vessel must cease fishing and tie up for the majority of the year upon exhausting its lowest quota allocation even if it has significant quota allocation for other species to use.
Aaron Brown of FFL explained: The EU has every incentive to enforce any and all detrimental legislation to cull what’s left of the UK fleet. Under international law if we no longer have the fleet capacity to catch our own resources then the EU can then claim these resources using international law under Article 62.2 of UNCLOS.
Even worse – under the Withdrawal Agreement the UK has agreed to ratify the draft Future Relationship for after the 2-4 year Transition. A Future Relationship to be based on “existing reciprocal access and quota shares”; based on ‘non-discrimination’ (the founding principle of equal access to a common resource) and any fisheries agreement would be traded “within the context of the overall economic partnership”.
If Britain won’t agree to EU demands then the EU can invoke the Backstop – severing Northern Ireland from Britain and trapping Britain as a permanent EU rule taker. One which can only escape by agreeing to the EU’s Future Relationship terms. The Backstop also says that if the UK won’t yield on fisheries then the EU will close its markets for
It is a total turkey trap, where the EU can force Britain into CFP associate membership forever. It is not much better for any other part of our nation. The Withdrawal Agreement puts Britain over the barrel, paying £39bn or the privilege, and then only to be forced into becoming a permanent vassal state under the draft Future Relationship.
MPs must respect the democratic instruction and leave the EU on the 29th of March with No Deal which is No Problem! To all patriotic Britons – this is the time to kick and scream. Let it ring in MPs ears that Britons won’t take a betrayal of Britain or Brexit.
Join the March to Leave!