Fishermen from across the UK visited Westminster to warn against repeating “travesties” in 1973, when they claim the British were cut to the advantage of foreign fishing interests in joining the European economic community.
Barry DEAS, CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s organisations, said that the fishing industry may be small, but it was “symbolic” of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, because the EU gives the opportunity for 45 years of resentment.
“It is important that the Parliament understand what is at stake in the negotiations of withdrawal,” DEAS told the deputies for the collection industry in the house of Commons. “Our priorities are first and foremost to manage and control access to our water and to balance what we call asymmetrical and operation deal, which dates back to 1973.”
On the initial carve-up of all European community fishing boats were given equal access unit of water, but the quota system has led to the country’s share of fishing gear.
This means that the French boat had an 84% share of cod in the English channel, and in the UK, where cod is popular, has a 9% stake.
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Steve Baker, the Minister of the Department for withdrawal from the EU, told the fishermen that the government intends to regain control. “Fishing is the issue of totemic importance for the UK,” he said, vowing to fight for a good cause.
But DEAS said: “repetition of 1973 should be our fear. We are politically very significant and it would be difficult for politicians to come back and say, ‘You are a small industry and we didn’t get everything you want’ cause a sense of betrayal, but it’s our fear.”
The industry was one of the biggest supporters of the quarter and month, but the sector fears that control British waters can be turned into a political pawn tacked on the broader free trade negotiations.
DEAS said that the EU said that if the UK wants the free trade agreement (FTA) will have allow access in British waters and the continuation of quotas. “But there is no example anywhere else in the world FTA, which gives free access to natural resources,” he told MPs.
Paul Trebilcock, a fisherman in Cornwall, said cities such as Newlin was desperate to restore balance. “I was in places like Lowestoft and died in the fishing industry because of the deal 1973. Coming from a fishing family it makes me sad to go places as it is. I don’t want Cornwall to the city to become like Lowestoft”, – he said.
He explained that the city of Newlyn harbour Supported 200 vessels fishing for everything from line-caught perch, monkfish and sole. But the deal 1973 left them at a disadvantage, because the French and Belgian rivals had a larger quota within a six – to 12-mile zone.
Conventional 10-meter boat from Newlyn with “a couple of hundred horsepower is shipping along with a 25-metre French trawler, which has 1000 horsepower because they have a 66% share of haddock and our share is only 10%, so we are unable to scale and compete,” said Trebilcock.
Alan Campbell, MP for Tynemouth, Tyne and wear, expressed concern that customs control and food inspections, which may become mandatory after the British exit from the EU could ruin a business how to run ned Clark, a fisherman in North shields, which only the stock of prawns and langoustines, which unlike cod not top with British visitors.
“He has five days of shelf-life and 95% of the shellfish is sent to Europe by truck, we can’t be stopped in Dover or get into any tariff regime,” said Campbell.