We received these two urgent letters, one about the ongoing scandal of the Government’s neglect of our Fisheries, sent in by Mike Hookem MEP, the other an invitation to a meeting taking place this Saturday. First, Mike Hookem’s letter:
the Government’s response (text below) to my petition, to remove the fishing industry from the so-called ‘Repeal Bill’, is puerile, unhelpful, contradictory and avoids the central issue.
My petition called for a clean break from the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the removal of the fishing industry from Theresa May’s EU ‘Repeal Bill’. It attracted over 35,000 signatures within its first two weeks.
It’s all very well and good crowing that we will be an ‘independent Coastal State’, but what difference does that make if we adopt the terms of the CFP into British law and continue the status quo!
The response from the Government is laughable, and they should hang their heads in shame that they are treating hard working people looking to secure their future in such a way.
For me, the response to my petition poses more questions than it answers.
First and foremost, the British people did not vote for ‘continuity’. They voted for change, especially in the fishing industry, which has been decimated by over 40 years of the EU’s CFP!
So why then do we have a Government minister proposing to adopt the ‘technical measures’ of the CFP into British law once we are supposedly free to make our own fisheries decisions?
Does he realise this means the continuation of quotas imposed by Brussels; continued access for EU vessels, which currently take 70% of the fish caught in UK waters; and the continuation of the horrific electro-pulse fishing experiments – a practice so destructive that even China has banned it – that is wiping out fish stocks and ecosystems across the South-East coast? [Ed: see Mike’s letter on that issue here!]
The Government response also fails to address the central issue of the EU taking us to court under the Vienna Convention, citing ‘continuity of rights’, if we do take the CFP into British law and then try to change any agreement made during the negotiations.
Any legal action of this type would lead to protracted wrangling over many years; the continuation of the status quo in the interim; and British fishing businesses, going to the wall due to the continued constraints imposed by Brussels.
While I look forward to a Fisheries Bill with baited breath, I think it is only fair that the Government answer the simple questions posed by the majority of those in the fishing industry before that.
So, let me put those question into language even the Government will understand:
* When will the UK be freed from the hated CFP – including the technical measures which have done so much damage to the British fishing industry, our aquaculture, and our fish stocks?
* When will we reclaim our 200-mile EEZ for UK vessels to exploit?
* And when will Theresa May’s Government wake up and realise we do not want Brexit in name only?
The people of Britain want change, and correcting the past injustices in the fishing industry would be a bloody good place to start!
Respectfully, Mike Hookem MEP
[The text of Government’s response to Mike Hookem MEP petition:
“When the UK leaves the EU, we will no longer be bound by the Common Fisheries Policy. As an independent Coastal State, we will regain our rights to manage our fisheries in accordance with our rights under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and have control of our Exclusive Economic Zone (out to 200 nautical miles or the median line with other states). The UK will be responsible for the management of natural marine resources in this area and will be able to control and manage access to UK waters including fisheries. The Government has always been clear that the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill ensures that, so far as possible, the same rules and laws will apply on the day after exit as on the day before. This will provide the maximum possible certainty and continuity to businesses, workers and consumers across the UK – so that they can have confidence that they will not be subject to unexpected changes on the day we leave the EU. The Bill delivers on our promise to end the supremacy of EU law in the UK. It is the mechanism by which the UK will leave the EU while taking back control. The Fisheries Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech in June will demonstrate how we are taking back control of access to our waters and the allocation of fishing opportunities. The remaining technical elements of current EU fisheries law will be incorporated in to UK law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, ensuring both certainty and that our fisheries are managed sustainably.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs”]
All who’ve signed this petition will have received a request by the HoC Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural affairs to send in letters/emails on this issue. Please do so!
Next, an invitation:
KEY LONDON EVENT FOR YOU!
Brexit is Being Betrayed! Fight back!
You are invited to a Conference to meet UKIP’s new leader, Henry Bolton
Date: Saturday 25th November
Time: 9.30 am check-in – start 10am prompt.
Venue: Mary Sumner House, 24 Tufton St, London, SW1P 3RB (nearest tube Westminster or St James’s Park).
Theme: Make Brexit Happen – Making UKIP an Electoral Threat Again!
Speakers, followed by Q&As:
Henry Bolton UKIP Leader: His vision for UKIP and our future
Gerard Batten MEP. Brexit: what has happened, what needs to happen.
Peter Whittle AM: Why we still need UKIP
Councillor Lawrence Webb: The importance of the London elections 2018
Tim Aker MEP: Tools to help UKIP candidates win.
Seventeen months on from the Referendum, not only has very little happened but Brexit is being betrayed! We have a Prime Minister, Government, and Parliament that do not want to deliver the decision of the Referendum – Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Instead they are working to bring about a Brexit that means we will leave in name but not in reality.
It was UKIP that brought about the Referendum. It was UKIP that won the Referendum. Only UKIP can ensure that Brexit really does mean Exit!
Since the Referendum in 2016 UKIP has been through some hard times. And it has to be said, some of our problems have been self-inflicted.
Some of our members and supporters thought the job was done on 23rd June 2016. Others became disheartened by the difficulties we experienced, and disappointed by our electoral disappointments.
But now is not the time to give up. Either we change the tide of events, as we did before, or Brexit will be betrayed and Britain will never really leave the EU.
Make a start by attending our conference our London Conference. The fight-back starts back in the London Local Elections of May 2018. We need to retain the seats we won in 2014 – and win more.
Our Government and Parliament is made up predominantly of Quislings who are betraying us to the European Union. Only a minority of MPs want Brexit to happen.
Either we collectively do something about it now or all out efforts over the last twenty-five years will have been wasted.
We hope to see you there!
Freddy Vachha, UKIP regional Chairman, London