The fishermen’s case

At Conference I was handed the following figures taken from NAFC Marine Centre Study 2016


EU (ex UK) boats land 10 times more fish from our waters than we land from theirs

14 times more cod and haddock

173 times more herring

16 times more mackerel.


This is a very one sided Common Fishing Policy.

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  1. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    You’re not kidding John. I hope things change after we come out and we get our fishing industry back. The EU is taking the pee!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and not just in fishing in energy, farming ……. killing UK democracy too.

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      this is what it takes to be part of a bigger club , but John will always just present the negative part of the EU for the UK it seems to be his prime objective in life.

      He never presents the enormous advantages it ahs been for the City to have the passport or for UK manufacturing to have one supply chain in Europe in particular for the transport and food mfr sector.

      But we know in advance

      • John
        Posted October 4, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        Ha ‘this is what it takes to be part of a bigger club’ ??

        What you mean a net annual contribution of circa £11 billion to be spent elsewhere.

        That money and more being spent on Continental countries to undercut UK industries.

        A questions Hans. How many other countries pay 10s billions more than they get out of the EU and pay for other countries to undercut their own industries?

        I don’t think many other EU countries do as you say ‘what it takes to be part of a bigger club’

        The country that pays the bills is finally saying to the EU up yours were off!

        • stred
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

          Hans still has not corrected his false figures about 10 EU countries paying in more than the UK. We are told that the city boys are highly intelligent and numerate, which is why they make such a lot of money. However, if the entries to this blog from insurance merchants are anything to go by, they are rather limited in their lateral thinking. They seem to be one trick ponies, only able to think about the existing and unable to cope with change. When they are faced with a suggestion to set up a trading post on the NI border with the EU and have an office in the EU at minimal cost and do 99% of the work inthe UK, they scream some twaddle about ‘contraband’. They seem to think that their great city of London is incapable of guaranteeing that they will pay up if a claim is made from the EU. They think that Mr Junker will be able to stop them paying a customer in the EU.

          Are all city boys so tossers? Let’s hope not.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Denmark, Sweden, Germany Netherlands just to mention a few who pay more per capita than we do .

          I was not even aware that any of these countries were paying in with the purpose of undercutting UK industry.

          How do you know that and why would they be interested in this in the first place?

          Where does that information about paying to the EU to undercut UK industry?

          This is news to me and most other European tax-payers

          • Know-Dice
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

            What about EU funding Ford to move Transit production from Southampton to Turkey?

          • stred
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for bringing the subject up Hans. Perhaps you could use your City expertise to check the figures given on the EU Commission site for 2015, Europarl. If JR lets me I will put the link on. I have checked the number for contributions less spending for the main countries and the biggest contribution per head of population in order is
            Sweden 205 euros
            Holland 200
            UK 163
            Germany 162
            Denmark 116
            Spain 107
            Finland 72
            Italy 31
            The biggest gainers are
            Ireland 95
            Poland 253
            Belgium 296
            Luxembourg the winner 2165
            Well done JC Junker and nice try to Guy Verhoftadt

          • stred
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink


            I have spent half an hour checking and taken population rounded as-
            Germany 82m, Holland 17m, UK 66m, France 65m, Denmark 5.7m, Sweden 10m, Finland 5.5m, Spain 46m, Italy 60m, Ireland 4.7m, Belgium 11m, Luxembourg 0.6m, Poland 38m.

            This is a good way of comparing contributions but does not take into account average incomes. If this is done Sweden and Holland come close to the UK which may pay most. Luxembourg, which has an income much higher than the UK, Belgium and France make an even more remarkable gain. no wonder Mr Junker is so keen to keep expanding the EU.

          • stred
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            All the smaller countries are gainers, but Poland leads and none touch Luxembourg in the arrangement.

      • DaveM
        Posted October 4, 2017 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        We all know the perceived advantages but the EU is heading towards being a bureaucratic superstate and we don’t want that.

      • NickC
        Posted October 4, 2017 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

        Hans, You seem to think the UK should pay an enormous entry fee (our fishing grounds), pay net about £9bn annually (current fee), and pay an enormous exit fee despite the fact we will lose (as you put it) all the “benefits” of being in the EU? If you don’t see anything wrong with that, perhaps you will tell us what entry fee each of the other 27 paid?

        The rest of the world trades with the EU without being a member, and you don’t seem to have a problem with that. In food manufacturing, which I know a bit about, I can assure you that the supply chain is worldwide. There is nothing special about the EU for us. If you want to sell to us in the future you’re not going about it the right way.

      • David Price
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 6:07 am | Permalink

        Do Japan, Canada, any other trade partner have to give over access to their assets and resources?

        Have France or Germany given over any of their farmland or mineral or energy resources for sharing by the community?

        Advantages to the City do not translate automatically to advantages for people outside the M25.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          yes they actually do due to the regional distribution of government spend across the UK and I am sure you knew this form the beginning

          • David Price
            Posted October 6, 2017 at 5:10 am | Permalink

            From NS data 2015 London contributed around 39b in tax while the rest of the South East £30b, that is of a UK total of 167b and England total of £145b. There will be other contributions and the City was around 11% of UK, so it is not a majority element of government revenue.

            At the same time London depends on national subsidy of services such as transportation, water and sewage, Energy. Residents of the Thames Valley out to Bath are having to subsidise London’s super-sewer.

            You avoid my point about the other EU countries not being anywhere as generous as they demand we be.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        So just how “enormous”have “enormous advantages” been?

        I could repeat what Michel Barnier reported when he was the Commissioner for the Single Market, that it had added about 2% to the collective GDP of the EU member states. Or I could once again provide a link to a German study showing that the benefit for the UK has been only about half of that average one-off 2% boost for the EU as a whole.

        I wouldn’t describe 1% or 2% as “enormous”.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          I am not sure where you have found your statistics , mine look very different over the past 20 years, where living standards in the UK really have taken off and where we have grown more than any other large country in the EU.

          Which statistics are you using?

      • Fairweather
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Our exports are about 40% of GDP and of that only 12% to the EU
        That loss.( even if we loose it) will be outweighed by the opportunities to export to the rest of the world
        As regards fishing the EU has managed not only to devastate our fishing industry but also has succeeded in reducing the fish stocks in “our” waters
        By “hoovering” up the stocks. We now import 80% of our fish
        We need our 200 mile limit back like Iceland but unfortunately this is not in the Conservative manifesto
        The CPF is a disaster not only for us but for fish stocks in general – did anybody think throwing dead fish back in the water a good idea?

  2. Bob
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    After 3/19 do we go back to the pre EU fishing borders or will the Remainers in govt trade it away to stop the punishment beatings?

  3. zorro
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I am sure that T May will find an excuse to pay so that we can have continued access to the Single Fish Market! 😔😔…..


  4. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May bores us with her SJ socialist obsessions. We should be rioting over this type of injustice. Another example of just much of our wealth and assets our governments give away.

  5. Peter
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Our poor old fishermen have probably long since left the fishing industry.

    I am not sure we would have the experience to replace them in the short term.

  6. Iain Gill
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink


    But then the one sided immigration policy is rather higher up most peoples priority list…

  7. treacle
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    The EU should pay us if they want to fish in our waters. £1 per fish should do it.

  8. Tabulazero
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    You better get used to Cod & Haddock then…

    Go to your local Tesco. What do you find there ? Tuna and Shrimps… which are imported.

    If you want the British public to eat fishes caught in British waters, then the public will have to change its tastes.

    • John
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      We eat lost of Cod and Haddock fished from former UK grounds that we import back from the EU. Better we catch it from our waters ourselves don’t you think? All that tax revenue ending back in the UK?

      Morcombe bay shrimp? Think that’s still caught by us Tabulazero.

      Unfortunately most of the world class Scottish Langoustines go to the continent, a lot to Brussells as they can afford them, we pay their wages after all.

      Tuna is mostly Pacific ocean and deep sea Atlantic so yes most of Europe imports Tuna not just the UK.

      The sea food available around UK waters would list into 3 figures and is all that we do already eat. No need to change tastes.

      Sea Bas
      etc etc etc

      What was your last seafood meal?

      • John
        Posted October 4, 2017 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        And of course Haddock, Cod and Pollock for those just wanting white fish meat for those not very adventurous Tabulazero

    • DaveM
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Um… shrimps? Do your research pal.

    • zorro
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Do tuna fish and shrimps live outside the EU? Hahaha….. By the way, we lurvvveeee Cod and Haddock and mushy peas!


    • NickC
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, Your comment doesn’t make sense? We currently import a lot of our fish, most of it from around the world, not the EU. Your example of tuna (Pacific) and shrimps (typically Thailand) confirms that. Why should it change? JR didn’t say we should not import fish, he implied that the EU would have to pay us for fish from our waters.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Back. Change its tastes back. To some, not very large, extent.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Still peddling the myth that all importing and exporting between the EU and the UK will cease when the UK leaves I see.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Our fishermen may well have a case.

    The Royal Navy is depleted.

  10. Tabulazero
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May’s closing speech was a total & utter disaster…

    How could she even accept being seen taking her P45 on camera ….

    She is supposed to be a seasoned politician. How could she fall in such a trap ?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      She dealt with that OK.

  11. acorn
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t you ask DEFRA why it issues licences for 32% of the UK quota to just five foreign owned BIG boats? In fact, DEFRA sub contracts about half of UK quota fish catching to BIG foreign owned boats and only 5% to small UK boats. The clue is in the word BIG. The UK has not had an industrial scale fishing industry since the Cod Wars.

    • David Price
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      So there is an opportunity there to grow local industry and commerce.

  12. CharlesE
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Jr..we don’t have any fishing waters at the moment, they are all common EU economic/ fishing see what we are going to have in the future will have to be discussed yet and agreed. The UK fishing limits prior to 1973 extended out to only 12 miles from the UK baseline. There are a lot of different figures being thrown around about all of this so I don’t know how it’s going to be worked out- it’s all a bit of a mystery ever since we lost that Iclandic cod war

  13. Diogenes
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    “Britain’s fishy role in the quota-hopping scandal”, The Independent, 21 December 1996.
    Please note, 1996.

  14. ian wragg
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    That was the price the Tory Heath paid for to get in the EU. We have been shafted from every angle for the past 40 years and still the majority in Parliament want it to continue.
    This should be shouted from the rooftops.

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Indeed very one sided and not just for fishing. They have made a complete mess of loads of other things too such as energy and indeed any real UK democracy.

    • Fairweather
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      “Swallow it whole and swallow it now”
      We were told by the Brussels fishing commisioner

  16. VotedOut
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Are you telling us it has taken 45 years to get those figures ?

  17. Gary C
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Another fact the remainers will choose to ignore.

  18. Mark B
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    No, it is NOT a one sided fishing policy, it is a disgrace !!! 🙁

    The slogan used by the Vote Leave campaign were :

    “Take back control” & “I want my country back !”

    Those fishing grounds are ours, Mr. Redwood MP sir ! And I want them back ! The fish stocks could very well rejuvenate many a community financially. They would be a real export earner and, I want it shouted from the roof tops : When we leave the UK SHALL be asserting FULL sovereign control of our waters. If you do not have the right to be in OUR waters, you must leave or be challenged by a Gun Boat ! And I am not messing about !

    Like Jacob Rees-Mogg and his ‘Red-line’ on being under the ECJ, for many I am sure this is one too. OUR fishing grounds are non-negotiable. If the EU will not talk trade, and why should they to be fair, then we cannot talk about access to OUR fishing grounds and, when we leave the EU, ALL non-UK fishing boats must leave our waters – PERIOD !!!

  19. Duncan
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    As ever John, we need a PM and Chancellor who stand up for the UK rather than handed over our riches and advantages to Juncker, Merkel & Co. on a plate

    Only Tory MP’s have the power to change the direction of travel and ensure we achieve full independence.

    If it’s not fish it’s something other than fish. Time to stop capitulating and go on the offensive

  20. alan jutson
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I guess none of it was landed in UK ports either.

    Perhaps some of these sort of simple facts should be made more public by our Government.

  21. eeyore
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Completely off topic, if JR will permit: No one doubts the Prime Minister’s courage and commitment, but she is clearly not well. Shouldn’t she announce soon that she is retiring on health grounds? She could go with honour and sympathy, and with the gratitude of party and country, both for shouldering her immense burden and for relinquishing it gracefully.

    • Chris
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      I agree wholeheartedly, eeyore. Politics is a brutal business and I believe that Theresa May has health problems which could give her grounds for a gracious exit. I think if she stays it will only be as a tool of the Remainers in Cabinet, who will then dispose of her at a time of their choosing – at least that is my view. They do seem to be in control, and it is an extremely unhealthy situation for government to be in. The primary aim and task of government is to effect the Brexit we voted for, not a fudge. This has to be expedited quickly by bold, energetic and committed Brexiteers, and not by a PM who seems unwell, and who seems in the hands of those who apparently do not have her best interests at heart.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      She’s got a cold with potential strep throat for goodness sakes, most Brits get those at least once per year and we’ve all soldiered on as she did.

  22. Dave Andrews
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Very fishy.

  23. Hope
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Your recent blogs skip over the alarming failures by your govt. while pointing out the obvious or deflecting blame elsewhere.

    Your PM is a waste of space. Even if we had control of our waters how would we guard it? Do we have a tug or two to prevent illegal fishing? May has decimated our navy. What is left is in the med acting as a ferry service for illegal immigrants who want to harm us. Do you honestly think she will reclaim our waters or cave in? As HS or PM she has no effective border control! One control order of 400 she could have issued to keep us safe. Her snooper charter is a big brother to stop hate crime against those who wish to harm us. The last attrocity committed by a person entering our country illegally from France! She said previously enough is enough- now what? Enough is enough is enough please stop killing us.

    Treeza Halifax May has already appeased the EU by letting them write her speech on what to offer them. She has already conceded to allow EU citizens to have rights under EU law in our country! With no stop to EU immigration, a fudge of registration instead!

    May cannot even deliver EVIL promised by Cameron. Has she denounced the brutality of Spain to crush a vote for independence? She is quick to denounce Trump for protecting his citizens.

    She is happy to provide EU students free university so they are able to compete better than our citizens in our own country for jobs without debt. Her latest strap line will not fly. Shame on her. Shame on your party. If she thinks her proposals are a vote winner think again.

    • Loddon
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink


      you are absolutely right. May is a complete disaster, totally incompetent. Her Florence speech was a disgrace. She has no negotiating skills at all, in fact she has no idea what it means to negotiate. She thinks giving concession after concession is negotiating; she hasn’t a clue. She is an utter embarrassment.
      She invited Donald Tusk into No 10, why we were never told, and then cowered inside while Tusk stood in the middle of Downing Street and spoke in fumbling English, to the press the EU and the whole world to announce that the UK Government had given in, caved, collapsed and were now jumping through every hoop that Brussels and Berlin ordered. She sat inside and didn’t have the nerve to come out and say a single word. She has no confidence, no pride in her country and no backbone.

      She is quite prepared to see her country humbled and humiliated and ultimately devastated. She is a disgrace.

    • stred
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      To be fair, they have denied that the EU wrote her Halifax/Florence speech. Her new Baldrick of the USSR just went over to his opposite numbers, showed what he and the others had written and asked if that was alright. She then told the cabinet what was in the speech and made sure that Boris was in tow. Then the rest of us and MPs found out and the BBC says that’s that. Job done. Next bung from the EU please. Now Junker of Luxembourg and Verhofstadt of Belguim want the UK to borrow some more for their impoverished countries.

  24. John
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    And we have to ‘import’ our fish caught in our waters from continental suppliers fishing our waters.

    We eat a lot of sea food in this country, not surprising for an island nation, we should not have to import it when its caught around our coast.

  25. Anonymous
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May’s speech.


    It couldn’t really have gone worse. There was more than one sabotage it seems. Those letters dropped off right on cue.

    She is a walking disaster zone. A laughing stock. This at one of the most critical times in our history.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Agreed it was toe curling awful bilge but conference in part seemed to lap it up.
      If they had any backbone they would have walked out when she started attacking the Police for ‘closing ranks’ and ‘discrimination’.

      I’m convinced May is an establishment stooge planted to counter the rise of the right until the left gets it’s act back together.

  26. agricola
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    You quite obviously do not know much about the fish market in the political points you make. I’ll allow that Wokingham is not on the sea. The UK gets and eats the fish it wants, which is not much beyond fish fingers. Most of Northern Europe and Spain comprise an infinitely larger market, both in volume and variety of fish and shell fish consumed.

    As a business model what is the advantage of British boats catching fish only to have to road them to Europe. Better let foreign boats catch them and deliver them direct. The EU fishing policy only reflects the market situation. If and when we leave the EU with our maritime waters intact we can expand a sustainable fishing industry and work out how best to get it’s product to Europe. It should also include foreign EU boats fishing under licence in a sustainable way in our waters. No more little Englander carping please.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      In the bad old days, fish and chips was a very popular dish, and in them bad old days, the fish were chunky, fresh and tasty; do you remember those days? There are people living today who have never experienced how delicious our erstwhile national dish could be: do you wish to deprive them of that future delight too?

      • agricola
        Posted October 6, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        For me Fish & Chips is a once a year enjoyable experience, but there are lots of different ways to enjoy cod. The restoration of our fishing grounds will not make cod any cheaper nor will it result in our citizens consuming greater quantities of it. Sad because it would be very much better if they did , rather than all the pre-made food that dominates UK supermarkets.

        • forthurst
          Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          Eating immature fish that have been sequestered in the hold of a foreign mega-trawler for weeks is not the same as a eating a fresh fully adult fish which has been landed soon after capture. Our ancestral fishing grounds have been overfished and badly managed for the benefit of foreigners ever since Heath decided to sacrifice our fishermen on the alter of undemocratic globalist governance.

    • Augustyn
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear – me thinks Agricola must be a youngster. Once upon a time throughout this great nation quality fish was landed one day and was available to purchase fresh in fishmongers the next day and the price was comparable with meats. This was not the fine slithers of fish covered in vast amounts of puffed up batter which Agricola seems to think that people want – this was real quality tasty food available to all. EU quotas for Britsh fishermen screwed that.
      Agricola. Please do go to say Inverness, travel east and visit all the former fishing villages before turning south along the coast to Aberdeen. It is very pretty but what you will find is a large number of coastal communities with viable ports which are empty of fishing boats. This is replicated throughout the entire UK. The application of EU quotas screwed these communities and it is a sad thing to see.

      So there you have it. EU Fisheries policies have destroyed livelihoods and led to poorer quality and more expensive fish in the U.K.

      Enjoy the fish fingers Agricola. I’m looking forward to fresh sea bass once the ridiculous rules on rod caught fish are eliminated in March 2019.

      • agricola
        Posted October 6, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        Sadly not apart from in attitude to life. Nostalgia is fine, but look around you in the UK, fishmongers are as rare as rocking horse droppings. Supermarkets sell what people demand, and from the size of their fish counters and the limited choice we get back to the fish finger plus the vast variety of pre- prepared food. None of which I enthuse over. You have to wait for your sea bass it seems, where I live it is in profusion along with a profusion of other species of fish and shellfish. Bon apertit.

        • Augustyn
          Posted October 6, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          Sadly Agricola you are ignorant of the position of the sea bass. here is the 2017 UK government notice implementing the EU directive for this fine fish

          You will see that UK rod anglers are allowed to take 1 fish per day but only for 6 months of the year. That won’t feed a family of four.Meanwhile trawlers can take many tonnes. it really is not surprising that the sea bass taken by Spanish trawlers are not available for sale to U.K. consumers in supermarkets.
          Retailers can only sell that which is available to them and it’s a shame there is so little quantity and variety. This shortage of supply to the uK driven by EU quotas results in fish being “overpriced” in relation to other products.
          Please do try and get your facts right.

    • margaret
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      Mrs May was respected for being human and not some play doh media- made excuse for a politician as we have seen before. How well she handled the problems encountered on delivery . That is reality. It was brilliant and true conservatism without the trashy hype.

    • margaret
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Who are you to allow anybody anything ? and what is this rubbish about all the UK wanting is fish fingers .. quite out of touch with the British taste. Even fish and chip shops prefer fresh cod and haddock.

      • agricola
        Posted October 6, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Just do an audit of your local supermarkets, that will tell you what UK citizens prefer, but it keeps the NHS busy so why complain.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Or little Scotlander carping, I suppose …

      • agricola
        Posted October 6, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Carp are fresh water fish and you are supposed to put them back. Very English, sorry to disappoint.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Utter rubbish pre EU the Uk’s fishing fleet was far larger and profitable exporting a large volume of fish to the European market. Despite being a maritime nation, fish in the Uk is artificially expensive which suppresses demand.
      The EU fishing policy reflects the sharp elbowed approach of the EU and the willingness of the Uk to sell this country short.

      • agricola
        Posted October 6, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        Your first paragraph is exactly my point. UK citizens don’t eat fish in comparison with European citizens so we can create a great export industry, a nucleus of which already exists. The key to it all is logistics.

        • Augustyn
          Posted October 6, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          The reason we do not,eat,as much fish as our continental neighbours is simply that so much of the quota is allocated to other EU states. you cannot sell to consumers something that does not exist.
          Putting my nostalgic hat on there were plenty of fish shops, fish and varieties available when I was a lad. The fish are still being caught they are just not making their way into the uk Supply chain. The variety,in today’s supermarkets is in no way comparable with that available in year’s past.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      If any of what you say is true, then why don’t they buy their fish from our waters and include it in our balance of payments as en export? It is after all, according to you just a logistics exercise.

      • agricola
        Posted October 6, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        The fish finger remark was a gentle jibe at current UK tastes. If I go to my old town of abode with 100,000 people there is not one fishmongers. The presentation at supermarkets is abysmal, but it only reflects demand which is low in quantity and variety. The sea bass that one contributor awaits is available in profusion where I now live. The EU countries do buy from the UK fishermen. The vast majority of shell fish end up in Europe. Try buying clams outside the big fish markets in the UK. For the sake of the health of those remaining in the UK I wish they could and had a desire to buy the fish and shellfish available in Europe. The nearest fishmonger to my old town was twenty miles away at a garden centre. In the days of Dickens the poorest of people to the east of London are reputed to have survived on oysters, but now it is the ubiquitous fish finger. Were this site to accept pictures I would send them.

        • rose
          Posted October 7, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          I wonder whether this is to do with feminism? Fresh fish needs to be bought and cooked on the day. Fish fingers are in the freezer for when the lady of the house gets back from work and feels strong enough to cope with them. Also, having a showdown with children who want fish fingers rather than fresh fish is easier for mothers who don’t work.

        • Augustyn
          Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

          Yet another example of the old maxim that you can take an Agricola to water but you cannot make it think.
          The poor fish offering available to UK consumers has nothing to do with consumer demand but everything to do with supply. Our supermarkets I’m sure would love to offer the magnificent range of fish available in French and Spanish supermarkets. The fact though is the UK retailers do not have access to the range or quantity of fish and it is not available for them to buy. And the main reason for that is EU quotas.
          In order to enhance his understanding of the issue in the U.K. Agricola might be advised to research Michael Gove and fish on Google. Then he might be a bit more educated on the issues of just how the EU fisheries policies has negatively affected the lives of so many fishermen, fish wholesalers, fish retailers and ultimately fish consumers.

  27. Martyn G
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    That is not the end of the story, John. Whereas our fish-folk get harassed on arrival in port by petty officials, who check the type, count and quota, imposing savage fines and confiscation of boat if over the limit, the foreigners sail back to their ports with our fish without let or hindrance, no one in their country – especially Spain – give a damn other than getting as much of our fish as they can.
    You do not mention Plaice or Sole. These, the most expensive of fish, hence highly desirable, are quota-allocated to France and other countries, not the UK.
    Coal, steel, aluminum and just about any other industry have been savaged or gone during our membership of the EU, aided and abetted by a succession of governments who appear to not give a damn about anything British. Although of course making all the right noises whilst surrendering our nation to the unelected EU masters.

    • John
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Its also down to quota numbers and catch sizes.

      Cod and Haddock are huge fish so you need big boats. Big boats in the UK cost far more to run and pay the mooring costs than in Spain etc. That’s why our fishermen moved towards the high value small sea creatures such as crab and langoustines. They don’t require vast fishing vessels and so lower the mooring costs but the high value catch can still pay.

      The EU keeps reducing the catch quota per vessel which favours the lower economic value nations with cheaper land, labour and mooring costs. That means UK vessels get priced out.

      It’s intentional, its a ‘transfer union’

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear Martyn

  28. margaret
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Another well founded reason why we must go. Mrs May’s speech was excellent .

  29. LenD
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    The case for the future of the fisheries will have to wait until the exit talks are complete and we get around to discussing the future. On the 29th March we’ll leave the EU and at that time we’ll also not be elligible to fish in EU waters anymore and nor will EU boats be able to fish inside our waters. If we are to revert to our original fishery limits then no EU boats will be able to fish within twelve miles of our coast..Any other arrangement as I suspect will have to be agreed during a transitional period, if there is one?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      It should be discussed as part of the exit talks, and if the EU ran on common sense rather than quasi-religious dogma they would grasp that simple fact.

  30. Prigger
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    JR I saw you today interviewed by either the BBC or Sky News about THE Speech. You came across as very supportive of Mrs May continuing at this time of EU negotiations and without the Tory Party spending the next three months in a self-indulgent leadership election which the public would not appreciate. For the first time though I felt you were very upset or extremely disappointed mixed with a good helping of mostly concealed actual anger. It was certainly a Murphy’s law day. Well at least the lights didn’t fail.

    • Chris
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      I think events have rather taken over from what the various Cons MPs might wish or not wish about May carrying on. I suggest Cons MPs face the grim reality and the sooner they do, the more likely Brexit can be saved, and incidentally the Conservative Party also. The self indulgence is letting things carry on as they are and imagining that nothing has changed. It has, and the electorate is unforgiving. Politics is a cruel business, and only the toughest, boldest and committed survive.

  31. Turboterrier.
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    This is a very one sided Common Fishing Policy.

    In line for the understatement of the year award.

    Like nearly all their policies, a complete and upper wind up.

  32. DaveM
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Fish stocks are going to be crucial in the years to come, and protection of our fishing grounds vital. Please ensure this matter is placed front and centre John.

  33. Dan
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Her speech was a disaster, in both presentation and content.
    Nothing conservative about it.
    Wishy washy LibDem/Green rubbish.

    She wanted the top job, has proven herself incapable of handling it.
    The country needs a leader, a Leaver, in charge.
    Get rid.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink


      If they got rid of her and got in someone that was really popular with the voters and then ran a really good campaign full of common sense etc then they could achieve another health majority in time for the next election. After all, look at what Corbyn has achieved. Are the Tory party incapable of this kind of aspiration?

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    This is actually a good reason for the EU and some of its member states to block any attempt by the UK to stay on in the EEA after it has left the EU.

  35. Ralph Hulbert
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I remember talking to a sad Portuguese fisherman in the 80’s, who pointed out a huge Spanish trawler hoovering up the fish he and his fellows used to catch….

  36. Martin
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    As I have pointed out on here previously, before the UK joined the old Common Market the UK was a great supporter of the miserable 12 mile limit to try and preserve access to what is now other country’s waters mostly for the now defunct deep water fleet. America supported the 200 mile limits and torpedoed the UK’s policy.

    The free for all you object to went on before the UK joined the Common Market as the UK’s limit was only 12 miles.

    • Augustyn
      Posted October 6, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      A 12 mile limit is likely to produce more for British fishermen than one of no miles. 100% of all quotas might be expected to result in better catches than 30% or so.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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