Today’s letters have two overarching themes: our Fishing Industry on the one hand and Petitions to Parliament on the other. The first letter sets the theme. It is by our contributor Malcolm Watson, describing the urgency for a Fisheries Policy after Brexit – something this Government seems happy to let slide back into EU hands:

Sir,

I was watching Suella Fernandez’  question to the Brexit Minister Steve Baker asking to reassure Fishing Communities. From my view, she was fobbed off.

Steve Baker said the ‘UK Government will be seeking a fairer share of Quota’.

No! UK fishing communities do not want just a “share”!

Post Brexit, for UK fishing communities, fishing industry and infrastructure to achieve their full potential, the whole of the UK Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is 200 miles or a median thereof from the UK coast, needs to be under the control of the UK Government, but also completely fished by UK vessels with catches landed in the UK, sold in the UK, processed in the UK to generate jobs, businesses, revenue and taxes in the UK. If the UK gives quota to foreign vessels, catches will be taken back to the EU for the benefit of the EU, jobs, revenue, taxes, etc. The UK will lose out. Again.

I could be wrong, but personally I think some in the Westminster Bubble think regaining control of our EEZ is just a matter of a few more fishing boats, and with a better Quota system fishing communities will be happy.

It is not so simple. It is a whole industry and infrastructure worth a minimum of £6.3 billion a year that needs rebuilding. It is a mammoth task:-

a) rebuilding the UK fishing fleet, 60% destroyed by the EU. New boats to be built.

b) rebuilding/refurbishing fish quays

c) Fish Processing businesses

d) increasing fish exports ( particularly to the EU)

e) Boat yards for a) as well as maintenance and repair

f) Fishing tackle manufacturing and sales

g) Fishing Protection, extra vessels required under Coast Guard or Royal Navy

h) Increased Support Industry and business for the above

i) all of which increases jobs and businesses

etc, etc, etc.

That will generate a minimum of £6.3 billion every year.

The UK will not achieve anything like that if the UK Government sells us short and let’s the French, Spanish, Dutch vessels carry off UK fish to EU ports.

But, I hear some say, our fleet is not big enough to replace the foreign vessels. That in itself is a bonus, a great advantage for our UK Fishing Industry. It will enable fish stocks to recover, the existing UK fleet can have bigger more lucrative catches which will in turn encourage others to enter the UK Fishing Industry. I’m sure there’ll be other advantages.

May I suggest liaising with Fishing for Leave who are better placed to brief you in full. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity which, if we’re not careful, will be squandered.

Respectfully, Malcolm Watson

The next letter is from Mike Hookem MEP who has been writing on the same issue here on UKIP Daily. It’s an appeal to sign and hand around the Petition to stop the planned cave-in by Ms May’s government in regard to the Fishery Industry. Malcolm Watson’s letter above describes why this is so urgent and important, here are more reasons given by Mike Hookem:

Sir,

the petition we discussed late last week has finally gone live. Could you please share it with your readership?

PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE!

Stop the Common Fisheries Policy being adopted into UK law post-Brexit!

I am today calling on the Government to make the fishing industry a stand-alone entity, outside of the ‘Great Repeal Bill,’ after George Eustice revealed the Government will adopt the ‘technical measures’ of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) into UK law on our leaving the EU, using Theresa May’s so-called ‘Great Repeal Bill.”

On the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, Britain can leave the CFP and reclaim its 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) under international law (UNCLOS).

Adopting UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) would allow total UK control over access; the setting of quota; fisheries management, and fishing systems; rather than blindly following the terms dictated to us by Brussels.

However, adopting the CFP into UK law for transitional purposes not only allows continued access for EU vessels into UK waters but also opens the possibility for the EU taking legal action, claiming, ‘continuity of rights.’

Therefore, if we are to have a fishing industry post-Brexit, keeping the terms of the CFP in place is not an option!

Please share this petition as far and wide as possible!

The Conservatives are betraying the Fishing industry for a second time by adopting the CFP over the rights we have under international law. We need your help to stop this betrayal!

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/204098

Respectfully, Mike Hookem MEP

Finally, a letter by our contributor Ceri Jayes who has sent us letters about her Petitions to Parliament in regard to halal slaughter and animal cruelty. Ceri’s letter below shows that grassroot activists can and do have an important effect on Government policies, from getting people to sign petitions to alerting their MPs – if a large enough number of us go and do it:

Sir,

the Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet (Theresa Villiers), who campaigned to leave the EU, presented a Bill on 25 October 2017 calling for a prohibition on the export of live farmed animals for slaughter or fattening to come into effect of the day that the UK leaves the EU.

The Bill will have its second reading on Friday 2 February 2018 (see here).

Thank you to everyone who contacted their MP urging them to support and attend the reading. I do not have a list of the ones who attended but the list of those who pledged early support is listed here.

I am collating a list of MPs who express concern on animal welfare issues and would welcome news on any additions to the ones cited in the above.

Respectfully, Ceri Jayes, Chairman Totnes Branch

I do hope that this encourages you to sign Mike Hookem’s petition and hand it around to others: grassroots can make government policies change!

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