A new UK fishing policy

I have long argued we should be able to produce a new UK fishing policy which is kinder to both our fish and our fishermen.

Fishing for Leave has come up with some interesting proposals designed to allow us to catch more fish for our own consumption whilst conserving more fish at the same time.

As they point out, it is not difficult to design a better policy than the long lasting Common Fisheries Policy. This was based on a quota system for each type of regulated fish. A fishing vessel had to throw back all dead fish that did not conform to the required limits on landings. It meant the UK fishery caught a lot of fish that had to be dumped dead.

After years of this damaging approach they decided to try to ban dumping. This is difficult to enforce without cameras on every boat in the right places. It also means when enforced  vessels are  banned from fishing as soon as they  hit quota problems on any given species.

Fishing for leave recommends a different approach. All fish caught should be landed and used. If we can eat all the fish caught we can  catch far fewer fish than needed with a discard policy in place, whilst landing more than under the old policy. The fishery would be protected by limiting days at sea for the fleet, to limit overall catches. In order to stop vessels pursuing too many fish of a particular kind because it is valuable or popular the system would include reducing days at sea for any vessel that did pursue too many fish of a species that was at risk.

This proposal looks like a good basis for forming a new policy. The aim must be to protect our fishery so it is there for the future. There has to be some way to prevent excessive exploitation leading to a bad decline in fish stocks. It should also aim to deliver a fishing industry that does supply us with the fish we want to eat. We always used to have a surplus of fish when we ran our own policy, and can do so again.

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150 Comments

  1. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    What quota of fish would be given to England? We are led to believe that Scotland will have a large share. Will we get our fishing waters back again and how are we going to stop our fish stocks being plundered by foreign vessels? We had a good fishing industry until we joined the EU.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Do you mean Scotland is a foreign country? Already?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        Some would like it to be. Why can’t you ask something sensible?

    • agricola
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      If sense prevails it will be a UK fishing industry in future, there is nothing to be gained from dividing it up among the member states of the UK.

    • Hope
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Oh please stop this fantasy nonsense. Today we read today May has cut the police budget by over £413 million pounds. Rudd told the police any request for more money would fall on deaf ears, despite the backdrop of three attrocities on their watch where criminals walked in to our country because we do not have secure or safe borders. She now proposes to give away £40 billion to the EU, all her red lines have been rubbed out and we are leaving in all but in name. She continues to give away £14 billion to despots and the EU in foreign aid- I note your figures yesterday did not include the EUs share of the UK foreign aid budget.

      Tell us what is bad deal and what pup she intends to sell us? Every day it sounds the same as Cameron’s false I reformed the EU crap. She is on par with Brown saving the world.

      Soubry and Clarke voted to stay in the customs union, why do they still have the whip?

      • Jane4brexit
        Posted November 25, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        You sound as depressed about it all as me Hope.

    • JoolsB
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      England will no doubt be last in the queue as usual. As long as Scotland are happy, that’s all this anti-English Conservative Government care about.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Why should there be a quota for Scotland?

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    As you say:- “it is not difficult to design a better policy than the long lasting Common Fisheries Policy”. The same surely applies to the EU’s farming policy, energy policy, employment policy, a border policy, competition policy, health and safely, commercial policy, economic policy, trade policy and very much else.

    So Hammond has kicked off with a young persons rail cards now for up to 30 year old’s. Rather a gimmick, but he will have to do rather better than that. They cost £30, have minimum spends much of the time and you cannot get discount on the, often cheaper, season ticket rates anyway. Anyway anyone can already get a network rail card (cover London and most of the home counties) already.

    The cost of getting to and from work is surely a ‘wholly and exclusively’ expense of working anyway and should be tax allowable (as it is for MP’s who get the cost paid by other tax payers for travel to Westminster). But not other workers – all in it together as they say.

    If he really attack VAT thresholds, pension rules again or fails to cut both IHT and 3% stamp duty and the double taxation of landlord interest (the let’s mug tenants taxes), or he attempts to attack the self employed again then he really must be kicked out.

    We need lower simpler taxes and a pro-business, pro growth vision and we need it now. So it has time to work before the next stop Corbyn election.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      So Labour want the government to call time on austerity. Perhaps they should change the laws of physics and abolish cancer, earth quakes and malaria while they are at it too?

  3. Freeborn John
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    No doubt the EU will be making demands for access to our fishing waters should surrender monkey May concede a massive Brexit fee in phase 1of the talks. And then she tamely surrender on fishing in Phase 2 making massive annual contributions to the EU budget so they can fish in our waters in return for a trade deal that only covers goods in which the EU has a trade surplus with the UK and excluding areas like services where the UK is strong. The massively incompetent May has to be removed now and replaced by a brexiteer. If you allow her to stay you are implicit in this disastrous unconditional surrender to EU extortion. For Gods sake act now.

  4. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Well said. Now let’s take back control of the fishing policy.
    No more sell outs.
    Enough is enough.

    • bigneil
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      No more sell outs? – – you optimist you. Got more than a year to go yet. We will be bankrupt as a country by the time Leave Date comes round.

  5. Sakara gold
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    An interesting proposal, to allow the fishing industry to police it’s own quotas. A bit like getting our cops to investigate themselves for curruption!

    Unfortunately, we don’t have enough seaworthy RN frigates to police it anyway, after Fallon’s stealth cuts to the fleet.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      The RN made a few design errors as you may know resulting in the most modern (45s) needing extensive modifications. But you need patrol vessels or lightly armed corvettes for this, Frigates are too expensive (why on earth would one use a ship optimized for ASW or air defence to hunt seaborne poachers?. The Dutch Holland class would be an excellent, off the shelf, candidate. Order now and the first twenty (you will not need more) will be ready in 2025. Max GBP130 mil per ship, so twenty would cost less than the -pretty useless without suitable planes, limited autonomy and no anti missile defense- carriers. Some may even be built in the UK (at three times the cost, but very satisfying) and could be maintained there. If the UK leaves the EU, the builders have shipyards in non-EU countries that could build the ships and leave fit-out to a UK partner. A very attractive opportunity!

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        Good point Rien Huizer – it is once again all indefensible UK Government humbug!

        The Islanders saw off the Great British “internationally” famous” navy with aged Coast Guard boats (against British Frigates) during the Cod wars!

        They then implemented a 200 Nmiles exclusive zone around Iceland, without too much problem! The British were told unceremoniously to go away with their tail between their legs…not much has changed today!

        Nothing is going to happen, the British are too polite, don’t you know!

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

        Better still just use old civilian vessels to launch drones from. A rib with half a dozen marines to intercept.

    • NickC
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Sakara, You are absolutely right that we don’t have enough fishery protection vessels. We should be seeing evidence of the government ordering some if we are to believe they mean business. However the fishery protection vessel that I went out many years ago was a whole lot smaller than a frigate.

  6. Nig l
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Yes it looks very promising. On basis that TM seems to be intent on crumbling to the EU on what were her non negotiable s, will it ever happen?

    • Atlas
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Nig 1 – yes, unfortunately what you say seems to be happening. I’m sure this crumbling does not please our host either.

  7. Mark B
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The greatest danger to our fishing industry historically comes from our own government and its inability to look after and defend this nation, its people and interests.

    When Mrs.T went to demand our money back she did not ask them how much they would like to give. She told them how much they should pay us back.

    The fisherman will be sold out along with the rest of us. The next GE is just under 5 years away. ie They, the MP’s have nothing to fear. Now you know why the PM called an early GE.

    • NickC
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, I hope you are wrong about this government, but the evidence is on your side, unfortunately. Like many on here I despair at our government behaving like frightened rabbits, and so desperately, so obviously, appeasing the EU. It is shameful.

      • Timaction
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Pitiful and incompetent. Sharpening my pitchfork. I will NOT be paying my part of the £40 billion. Let the Remoaners and Westminster pay it along with their foreign aid to despots!

    • Doug Powell
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes, May will sell out on everything!

      You can bet she would pull the chair away from ‘Whistler’s Mother’, if Barnier wanted to sit down!

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        I am guessing these anti-T May comments are grist to the mill!…correct JR?

        Reply I support Mrs May but allow others to make critical comments which I disagree with.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      I wish people would stop going on about Mrs Thatcher. Mrs Thatcher did a great job defeating socialism. But those days are over (Corbyn is a blip although he could sadly get back in if we’re not careful).

      The challenges now are how to build the UK into the second Silicon Valley after California. How to get more kids software coding. More students studying computer science, engineering and Maths at university. How to build up infrastructure between Oxford and Cambridge to build the Silicon Valley of the future. How to get our universities working closer with tech start ups. How to grow our tech start-ups into global brands. How to support our tech entrepreneurs in general.

      But even here, i wonder how many Tories are on board? I get the horrible feeling that many are still focused on the 80’s, still focused on the City (important as the City will always be), and want to turn the UK into some kind of European Singapore (which is a bad idea for many different reasons although we need to keep supporting the City and keeping it strong).

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        (I might of course be wrong, of course, but the evidence/argument to me appears that we should be focusing on the UK becoming the second Silicon Valley California)

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        Ed Mahony

        Having recently returned from Singapore, we could do a lot worse than follow their lead?

        Regardless whether we have the City or a newly reformed manufacturing strategy, the end game presumably is to have a United Kingdom that is modern, wise, successful, strong legal system, wealthy, citizen-focused, friendly and naively happy?…it just won’t be in our lifetime!

        Perhaps our grandchildren will benefit, but sadly, I believe it will not happen in our lifetime! Cynical but true, based on the past 2 years of our deplorable Government’s shenanigans and lurid details from the past? Brexit has created an open crystal clear window to UK politics and it is not nice!

        Incidentally, will Politicians never stop lying? Now we hear about Ted Heath’s “now infamous” EU legacy?

        “We were lied to! Secret document FCO 30/1048 kept the truth about EU from British for 30 years!”

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 23, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          @Dennis,

          Singapore is a great success story. But it’s the wrong solution to our problems

          (1. Singapore is 15 times smaller than the UK 2. different part of the world / different work culture)

          ‘Regardless whether we have the City or a newly reformed manufacturing strategy’

          – I never said either / or. But both! I’m a strong supporter of the City. All i’m saying is we mustn’t stretch it too far whilst putting all our country’s economic eggs in one basket. We need to diversity our economy, in particular focusing on the huge revenues and decent jobs from the High Tech industry. Plus we have some amazing universities – the best – to support this industry.

          Regards

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 23, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          Also, Dennis, if you’d been on business to Silicon Valley, California, instead of to Singapore, you might agree with me a bit more!

          Focusing on Singapore, for the UK, is, i think, just retro economic thinking (important as Singapore and the City of London is).

          I might be wrong (and open to persuasion), but I know a fair amount about this industry, and happy to defend my argument.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted November 23, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

            I’m strongly in favour of leaving the EU now and controlling our borders (because my concern of uncontrolled borders merely reflects that concerns of millions of others). But i’m equally concerned about leaving the single market (as are many others in the business community). I think we need to remain in the single market but we’ll have to pay a price for that if we want control of our borders.

            However, 90% of respondents in the UK tech sector opposed leaving the EU. This is a big deal. I wonder if politicians such as Boris Johnson have given this any thought to this? How much do they actually know about the High Tech industry. I find this pretty concerning. Not just thwarting our High Tech industry, but leading to a brain drain of many of our best, young people in the high tech industry to countries which are focusing on creating the Silicon Valleys of the future.

  8. Christine
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    If we don’t invest in some new trawlers, train some fishermen and reopen our ports we won’t be catching anything. Fleetwood used to be the third largest fishing port in the country with 120 trawlers, now it has none. Communities have been decimated.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Good point. Maybe the UK government wants foreign trawler fleets to step in to do the fishing on our behalf after we leave. Not exactly what British people voted for.

      Plus, we need to do something about the relatively new practise of ‘pulsing’ or electro-fishing by another name, where all fish beneath the boat are given an electric shock and stunned before being taken from the sea. Many in the scientific community have said how damaging this is ecologically and threatens the long-term viability of fishing grounds.

      To prevent things like pulsing in British waters, we need to be able to police them properly, but Theresa May’s record on protecting the public – any government’s first duty – isn’t exactly exemplary. Crime runs rife on our streets, and I have no confidence that a gutless jellybaby who gives in to bullies and seeks to pay themoff, will do anything other than capitulate.

      Tad

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 23, 2017 at 2:16 am | Permalink

        Indeed.

      • Mockbeggar
        Posted November 23, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        This comment is a bit late; but I have heard that other scientists say almost any method of fishing is less destructive of fishing grounds than trawling.

  9. The Prangwizard
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Given the treacherous weakness of Theresa the Appeaser so far in the Brexit ‘negotiations’ how are we to defend our waters and fish? She can’t be relied on to stand up to threats.

    And is it true that the fisheries minister has given Scotland 1500 tons of Enhlands fish to catch.afyer Brexit with a promise of the North Sea atea too?

    • Jane4brexit
      Posted November 25, 2017 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      There is a ‘petition parliament’ petition you can sign, asking for the Government to take back our full 200 mile limit and to take back full management of our grounds. Fishing for Leave estimate the resulting fishing industry could be worth up to £6.3 billion a year to the UK. The petition warns that if we take the current EU CFP laws into UK law, via the Great Repeal Bill, we might give the EU a chance to stop us altering them later under ‘continuity rights’ arguments.

      The petition number is 204098 and only has 36,394 signatures as I write this.

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

  10. alan jutson
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Another simple policy would be for all fish caught in our waters, should be landed in our Ports.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    More fishery protection vessels will also be needed.

    Thus perhaps we can then better protect what goes on in our waters.

  12. DaveM
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Can you get a pro-EU foreign politician to present it to the PM? She might go for it then.

    Also, why are we relying on a German chap called Henkel to stand up for the UK? Is the Govt now so weak that it can’t speak for its own people?

  13. am
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    We can’t allow a free for all without sensible conservation for the future after brexit. Newfoundland would be achieved with all its disastrous consequences. The policy sounds correct but what is not touched on is the add on of manufacturing and fish. Tinned fish should be emphasised for added value. It will boost manufacturing, employment and gdp. A lot of it can be used to replace imports and for exports. British business needs to reconnect with the overseas wholesale market. I lived a substantial part of my life in Africa. Tinned fish was a major supermarket product.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    With what navy do we police it ?

    • Mitchel
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      We are told there a lot of Russian vessels circulating our waters;perhaps we could contract it out to them!

    • notsosubtle
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Anonymous, The French have a few surplus fishery protection vessels I’m sure they could loan you one or two to get you started.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      As I said several weeks ago on this subject, policing could be carried out easily by the use of drones.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Another of the lost opportunities in Hammond’s budget. Woeful and dismal.

  15. Cobwatch
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    John…i adore your optimism. But the UK fishing grounds will be given away along with all the other offerings to the EU. John, you are a lone sane voice lost in the EU gale that everyone else is bending before.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Cobwatch

      You are so right

  16. Bert Young
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Fishing and the protection of our waters go hand in glove . A buoyant fishing industry would once again be a great boost to our economy and pride .

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    The blame for the housing crisis lies almost entirely with government as C Moore points out today.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/19/blame-housing-crisis-lies-government-not-people/

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Javid’s comment was a Ratner moment for me. Fomentation of hatred against his core voters – after May’s punishment manifesto and the appearance of a former Tory Chancellor as editor of the Guardian’s sister paper – the London Evening Standard.

      Any mention of 600,000 a year migration in that article btw ? If not then it is not to be taken seriously.

      Anyway. Back on to the price of fish.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      I seems we have not only to pay taxes and higher prices to fund quack (and vanity) treatments on the NHS plus bonker expensive green religion energy but also for many water companies to use water dousing!

    • stred
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      There is always something in the budget which is important and slipped through with minor changes. That little socialist EU loving expert Lord Adonis the Beautiful Infrastucture, who pushes HS2 and other pet white elephants is still well received in Downing Street. He was telling us that the 300,000 homes pa, which coincidentally is near the net migration figure, will be built in the countryside as ‘garden’ cities with a population of around 500,000. He thinks some countryside around Cambridge and Oxford will be ideal for two of them. How much nicer they sound with the word ‘garden’. He likes it too.

      So there you are. Keep us in the EU for 5 years after the referendum in all but name. Keep free movement and 300,000+ people coming in needing homes ,subsidise first time buyers to keep the price up and build the houses on the Green Belt. The big builders must be delighted. They really must think people who voted for the opposite are pretty dim.

      • stred
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        re Ian Dale 6pm

  18. Hope
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    You are joking I take it?
    Why do you think May will not keep it has it is to help the EU?
    How will the UK enforce our water boundaries, there are no Navy ships available.
    She has caved in on every red line so far: ECJ will continue, give away billions to the EU (and overseas aid) while her HS tells the police any request for money will fall on deaf ears, Freedom of movement continues for some industries and under sham registration scheme. The four pillars remain. The UK is currently technically leaving. Today we read she is going to cave in to the EU Freedom of Right Charter- sponsored by grieve!

  19. formula57
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    It is worrying when you post on a subject like this, something that ministers should be well on top of delivering and be diligently pursuing, for it awakens the concern that all may not be as one would hope. I suppose as with Mr. Clark and our Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant, so we might give Mr. Gove yet more time on fisheries, for now.

    • Hope
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Gove will stop the diesel powered boats and ask them to sail or row presumably!

  20. Andy
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    The fact that Brexiteers are obsessed with fish demonstrates their cluelessness. It is a negligible industry – worth a fraction of a percent of our economy. Much of the fish we eat is imported anyway because British tastes prefer foriegn fish. Ironic. Much British caught fish is exported. Also ironic. A House of Lords report makes this all clear.

    I’m afraid for fisherman no policy will significantly improve your lot in life. You chose a bad career – and if you think replacing EU rules with UK rules will help you then you are, sadly, in for a major disappointment.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      “The fact that Brexiteers are obsessed with fish demonstrates their cluelessness.”

      It’s not a “fact” except in your imagination. Perhaps you could say what percentage of JR’s blog posts have been about fish over the past few years?

      “It is a negligible industry”

      In that case your friends in the EU shouldn’t be too bothered about handing back complete control over fishing in our national waters. They were keen enough to take it over in 1972, when they suddenly invented a common fisheries policy so they could take over the best fishing grounds in Europe, but as it’s of negligible importance they won’t mind making that minor concession.

      We were a net exporter of fish, now we are a net importer:

      http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN02788#fullreport

      which is a bit odd for a country with the best fishing grounds in Europe.

    • Ed Hirst
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      So it is OK for the British fishing grounds to be transformed into a lifeless desert? I remember fishing from the Yorkshire coast in the sixties, lots of different species in large numbers, now after nearly fifty years of EU mismanagement there is hardly anything other than crabs. Which foreign fish do British tastes prefer: the insipid tasting river Basa perhaps?
      Remainers boil everything down to economics, and appear to have little regard for quality of life or the environment.

    • formula57
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Let us not overlook the harm to fishing the (EU ed)does habitually in West Africa where its deal with Mauritania according to Greenpeace (quoted in the Guardian newspaper) means that: –

      “The impact on local communities is huge. With less and less fish, local fishermen are forced to make dangerous journeys further away, some simply give up and move away. Trawlers trash traditional fishing gears, which the locals can’t afford to replace. Whilst nominal deals may have been done with governments, it is local communities and Africa’s seas that pay the price.”

      So I do think there is every prospect that replacing EU rules with properly crafted UK rules will help us. We will also no longer be responsible for the damage being done to West Africa by the (EU)

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      We’re not obsessed with fish. We’re obsessed with immigration which is out of control. As is much of the EU which is now facing a right wing revolt.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        What is your problem with immigration? Do you dislike the fact that more Britons (as a % of the populations) reside in the EU than Europeans in the UK? Would you like Britons to return or EU citizens come in greater numbers to restore the balance?

        • NickC
          Posted November 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          Rien, The effect is felt in the country of destination, not the country of origin. There are almost as many Poles living in the UK (1m) as there are Brits living in the whole of the EU27 (1.2m).

          Population density is normally measured in people per unit area. The UK area is less than 6% of the area of the EU27. The total of EU27 nationals is estimated to be about 3.6m (but is almost certainly more given NINo figures). That makes the UK overpopulated by EU27 nationals by a factor of about 50 times in comparison with UK nationals in the EU27.

    • agricola
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Ask yourself why it is a “negligible industry”. Years ago it was just the opposite. You are right in stating that the British taste in fish is limited and that at the moment we import to make up the shortfall in cod for instance, but export a great range of shellfish. Your snide remarks on career choice overlooks the fact that in coastal locations there is not a great choice. Norway and Iceland manage to run their own fishing grounds sensible so we have a similar opportunity after March 2019.

    • Alison
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Andy, do you really think a large set of islands (the UK) should not have fishing (a) as a strategic priority and (b) part of its lifeblood?
      With a nod to the Better Jobs entry yesterday (great), there is more to work than career .. you grow up by the water, the smell of the sea is in your being, has been for generations, and fishing is what you do. Except you can’t when you are sold down the river by the EEC/EU and UK politicians. Also, no fishing industry, where are your fishing skills, knowledge?

      I mentioned before, we used to watch huge Greek, Portuguese, Spanish dredgers dredge away off one of western Scotland’s biggest islands, not a Scots/UK boat in sight. These boats had travelled many many hundreds of miles (possibly on boats with EU subsidies). You could see them, dredging the seabed bare – no concern for quotas, endangered stocks.
      A Telegraph 2016 article noted that the UK fishing industry contributed less to UK output than private investigators (ONS figures). I hope you’re pleased, Andy. For UK governments to allow that to happen is strategically stupid. The decimation of fishing/fishing industry towns and villages is shameful.

      EU fishing industries, Denmark, Netherlands, Portugal, have all been calling for access to UK waters, because their fishing industries – and their towns and villages – rely on fishing UK waters. When have UK governments actually looked after (or been able to look after) UK fishing towns and villages?? Now is the time.

      Similarly, as a set of islands, the UK should strengthen its amphibious defence capabilities. To contemplate scrapping the Royal Marines, well it makes the blood boil for what is tantamount to treachery (helping the potential enemy) .. let alone the strategic lunacy.

      Of course we also need more frigates.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        Why is the UK fishing fleet not exploiting the opportunities in home waters? Why are there so few Britons who want to be fishermen? Why are UK investors not keen to invest in modern large ships?

        • NickC
          Posted November 23, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          Rien, “Modern large ships” are not good for sustainability. That’s the point. And the EU took away our fishing grounds.

      • charlesD
        Posted November 23, 2017 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Alison- it doesn’t help when you see everyone as the enemy- years ago i was out on the lonely south atlantic ocean when the captain spyed a ship way off in the distance and after signalling him for a bit and with no relpy..the old captain remarked that he must be a foreigner..i turned and quietly said..captain out here we are all foreigners..but there was no answer from the captain..some people just don’t get it

    • DaveM
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      What’s your solution then? You seem to spout a lot of tripe – every restaurant I’ve been to lately serves fish from local waters aside from, say, tuna. All shellfish can likewise be sourced locally. We only import it from the EU because we’re not allowed to catch it ourselves!

      Have you visited any of our once proud coastal communities to find out how their lives have been devastated by the CFP? Or maybe you’d rather join the Irishman Geldof and hurl abuse at people whose businesses and towns have been decimated by EU rulings.

    • Chris S
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      If you live on the East Coast of Scotland or in towns like Grimsby the fishing industry should be a prime source of jobs and will be again.

    • NickC
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Andy, The fact that you are obsessed with ensuring our subservience to a foreign empire demonstrates your cluelessness.

    • acorn
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Sadly true Andy. Member state fish quotas are issued to fishing fleets by member governments. UK trawlers are too small in tonnage, hence the big foreign super trawlers are signed up to catch UK quota and land it where it sells. That is a UK problem,not an EU problem.

      There’s no shortage of fishing data https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-sea-fisheries-annual-statistics-report-2016 Have a look at Chapter 1 and 2.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      If you had read JR’s post closely, you would have discovered that it was not about the existing state of our fishing industry, the result of forty years of attrition under the CAP, but what it might be in future, perhaps more similar to what it had been previously when every port had a fleet of trawlers and every seaside hamlet with a beach, a fleet of drifters, a time when the Englishmen’s favorite supper was fish and chips.

      You may not also be aware that the composition of fish in our waters is rather dependent on the degree to which some species have been overfished, thus preventing them reaching maturity and supplying a market for which there is a preference; an example of this would be cod where what is often presented is overpriced, stale, from a small fish, having been ‘stollen from our waters and then imported. On the other hand, mackerel are plentiful, conclusion: EU fishing vessels have overfished our cod preventing them growing to full adult size through their consumption of mackerel, the cod’s favorite fish supper.

    • john barnes
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Our fishing industry was sold down the river for a deal on joining the rubbish EU.
      Our port all round the coast were decimated.
      You obviously were not affected??

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      The reason it is negligible is the CFP. Doh!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Reading the posts of embittered loser remainers is a good tonic for Brexiteers. They consistently prove how wrong they are, and how right we are.

      Scaremongering leavers continually expose the flaws, the weakness, and the outright misinformation of their position, but it’s a bit like watching a (person ed) getting frustrated at trying to convince everyone else that 2 plus 2 equals 7.

      Keep it up!

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      ‘The fact that Brexiteers are obsessed with fish demonstrates their cluelessness’

      – Right now, we should all be obsessed about how to turn the UK into the world’s second silicon valley after California. The potential for boosting our economy with well-paid jobs is enormous.

      Whilst we discuss Brexit (important as that is) and subjects related to it, the rest of the world is getting on with building up their high tech industries / silicon valleys. I know this industry well. It’s very easy to get quickly left behind. Unless we pull our socks up on this, we could pay a big price for it in the future, with an economy focused on the 1980’s instead of really looking to the future.

      • hefner
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Ever heard of East London Tech City and of Silicon Roundabout?

        • hefner
          Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          and of Oxford Tech Hub, Cambridge Tech Hub, WarwickTECH, Exeter Science, …
          I would guess that a lot of the top UK universities have tech hubs of some kind.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          Where’s the Conservative’s government’s vision and drive for creating a UK Silicon Valley to help create the Apples, IBM’s, Intels, Microsofts, Googles, as well as the numerous unheard of B2b tech companies worth a fortune to California, and providing top jobs?

          The only big story we have on this, recently, is UK’s ARM Holdings being taken over by the Japanese (with profits and intellectual property heading to Japan) when we in the UK need to hold on to our own tech companies, and take them global. Theresa May pretended this take-over was a great scoop for the UK, when everyone in the tech industry knows it was really bad for this country’s tech industry.

          I’m afraid the Conservative Party appears too wedded to 1980’s economics and the City of London, and seems unaware or just doesn’t really care about the huge potential of the high tech industry in this country (high tech / software / digital etc).

    • Jane4brexit
      Posted November 25, 2017 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      Estimated at £6.3 billion a year and will help towards the UK being self sufficient in food, especially once/if the 200 mile limit is no longer over fished by other countries:

      https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/753599/European-Union-Brexit-fish-quotas-Mike-Hookem-Ukip-politics-EU

      • Jane4brexit
        Posted November 26, 2017 at 12:00 am | Permalink

        (Sorry I have posted in the wrong place, I had meant to put this as a reply to Andy above who said the British fishing industry is negligible.)

  21. Chris
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    How do you reconcile this statement taken from the official government response to the petition entitled“Stop the Common Fisheries Policy being adopted into UK law post-Brexit”

    “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….”

    with this statement later in the official response:

    “…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….”

    If the same laws apply the day after we leave, then we have not regained control of our fishing grounds. So, it is carry on as before? When does the new policy get activated? Never?

  22. Chris
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    You have not mentioned the elephant in the room, i.e. the rights of other countries’ vessels to fish in our waters, taking some large percentage of our catch. If the rules on the day after exit are the same as before then there does not seem to much hope of tackling this basic problem of our UK fishing industry, and the need to be in control of our fishing waters.

    • Alison
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      @ Chris – yes. I posted a few weeks ago a reference to the EU Fisheries Alliance Santiago Declaration: “We, representatives of European fishing communities, are gathered here in Santiago de Compostela, on October 23rd 2017, with one joint, shared, purpose. To call upon European governments, the European Council, the European Commission, and the European Parliament to make fisheries a priority in the Brexit negotiations and to safeguard the economic and social future of European fishing and coastal communities.”
      https://fisheriesalliance.eu/santiago-declaration/
      in August Niels Wichmann, chief executive of the Danish Fishermen organisation, even talked about a … transition period …

    • forthurst
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Under the CAP, English fishermen have been deliberately starved of quotas and then encouraged to scrap their boats for a EU payoff whilst under the same policy, foreign trawlermen have been given grants for the purchase of new vessels, the better to steal our fish. There is no reason why with full control of our fishing grounds the government should not institute a reverse policy under which foreign trawlermen are starved of quotas and then encouraged to sell us their vessels.

      Unfortunately, we are hamstrung under the Tory system of preferment to high office in which those reaching the pinnacle of power have not done so through their strong characters or fine minds but through their career of genuflection to those that control the Tory Party from behind the curtain; consequently, as it is well known that leopards cannot change their spots, it is hardly surprising that when representing our interests, always low on their agenda, such leadership is insipid, seeking to assuage rather than assert, so the chances of us getting a good deal for our fishermen is unfortunately not high.

      • forthurst
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        In my recollection, once the French had invented the CAP in order to steal our fish, they subsequently attempted to invent a CHP (Common Hydrocarbons Policy) under which they would steal our oil and gas as well; however, in this they were unsuccessful, presumably because our oil companies had more clout with their concentration of power with lily-livered politicians than the diffuse fisherfolk.

    • Monty
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Chris is right- Govt needs to keep interlopers out of our territorial waters, as well as our land.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      You sound as if those rights were obtained unlawfully. Is there any proof?

      • NickC
        Posted November 23, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Rien, EU control of our fishing waters were obtained by political trickery and extortion.

        • rose
          Posted November 24, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          And secretly handed over without the Cabinet or Parliament knowing.

  23. Peter Miller
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    A blanket ban must be placed on fishing for sand eels, which are at the base of the food chain of just about all edible fish in the North Sea.

    Not so long ago, the EU was encouraging principally the Danish fishing fleet to take over one million tonnes per year out of our waters and then burn them in power stations! When the objections of people like myself got loud enough, the Danes switched to turning the sand eels into fertiliser and animal food.

    As the fish population in the North Sea crashed, the EU was eventually persuaded the fishing of sand eels should be severely restricted. However, the EU bureaucrats have recently been got at and the quota rose again to 357,000 tonnes in 2015, before falling back to 87,000 tonnes in 2016. Nowadays, sand eels are mostly used as feed stock for salmon or pig farms.

    Sand eel fishing catches include up to 50% of other species of juvenile fish, such as cod and haddock, which are thrown back dead into the sea. This led to a huge depletion of conventional fish stocks in the North Sea.

    If anything shows the utter incompetence of the EU, it is its fishing policies. There must be no compromise with the EU in Brexit talks over the UK’s fishing rights. They are ours and definitely not those of the Danes or the Spanish.

  24. BOF
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    With every pessimistic fear being realised I now have every confidence that we will be treacherously sold out with the fishing. That on top of a damaging, unnecessary transition, £38 billion (for starters) more rights for EU citizens than British citizens and being under ECJ jurisdiction.

    Has Teresa May just re-invented Sovereignty?

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    “All fish caught should be landed and used.”

    Isn’t that the Norwegian approach?

    Not being “obsessed” with fishing I don’t try to keep up with every detail about it, but google points me to this article nine years ago:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/aug/13/fishing.endangeredspecies

    “Film of fishermen dumping catch causes uproar”

    “A UK trawler filmed throwing five tonnes of fish overboard has caused outrage in Norway and among environmentalists”

    “Norwegian government coastguards filmed the crew of the Prolific, a Shetland-based trawler, openly discarding more than 5,000 kg of cod and other dead white fish, or nearly 80% of its catch.

    According to the coastguard, the boat had previously been inspected in Norwegian waters and declared legal, before crossing into UK waters where it dumped its load. The incident took place on 2 August but the video only came to light in Britain yesterday.

    It is illegal to discard fish in Norwegian waters, but boats are forced to do so in European Union waters if they have caught the wrong species of fish or fish that are too small. Last year the EU estimated that between 40% and 60% of all fish caught by trawlers in the North sea is discarded. The practice of dumping is widely recognised as unsustainable but inevitable given the present EU quota system.”

    Just in terms of a system of sensible and efficient governance, why should it take so long to change an official policy and associated laws which were obviously not working as had been originally intended but were in fact having the opposite effect?

  26. agricola
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Essentially we need a fishing policy that extends to our 200 mile limit or median line to our neighbours. One that allows all the different disciplines in our fishing industry to thrive and develop a stronger export element. I do not feel any animosity towards European fishermen who have fished our waters providing they play by our rules and do so under UK licences.

    It is fundamental to the new situation that we create a fisheries protection fleet that also doubles as a border patrol and incorporates airborne surveillance. We might also try an education policy that awakens the British to the variety and advantages of eating fish. It could be another arm in the fight against UK obesity.

  27. Chris S
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    It is essential that we take back full control of our fishing grounds including dictating what is caught, when and most important, how it is caught.

    The Dutch have been using electro pulse fishing in our waters to land bottom fish like skate but our fishermen suggest that this method kills everything including cod and leaves the area sterile. It’s a fishing method that is supposed to be banned in the EU but the Dutch are sanctioning it as an “experiment.” However it appears to be in far more widespread use than would ever be justified as “experimental.”

    Then there is the issue of boats. Our industry is so run down thanks to EU membership that we need a new fishing fleet. I have said here several times before that the Government should have commissioned the building of a new fleet of modern boats in British yards.

    The new boats should be leased on favourable terms to British Seafarers on condition that the boats are crewed by Brits including at least one or two apprentices on each boat. Only in this way can we train the next generation of fishermen.

    Work should have been started on this a year ago, not least to show that we are serious about taking back control of our fishing grounds.

    Of course, nothing has been done at all. The likelihood now is that Remainer civil servants will use the lack of British boats and crews as an excuse to give away our fishing grounds in the forthcoming trade negotiations.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      The most likely outcome of a UK nationalistic policy (in contravention with existing treaties) is that foreigners will register boats in the UK, try to recruit local crew (in vain, probably, Britons do not like this kind of work, apparently) and if unavailable, recruit Filippinos (once the UK is out of the EU, recruitment could be world wide. If the government would prefer to make a nationalistic/anachronistic display, recruitment could be from Commonwealth countries like Sri Lanka, Bangla Desh. Plenty of experienced fishermen there. Spanish owned mackerel boat crewed by Asians plus a token British officer. Home port Grimsby.

      • Chris S
        Posted November 23, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        You are forgetting that once we have regained control, the treaties no longer apply and we will be free to set the rules to suit ourselves.

        Under my proposal, a British skipper with a non-British crew would not be able to lease one of the new fleet of boats we would be building.

        Failing to keep to the terms of the lease by changing the crew to non-British types would mean a large increase in lease payments rendering the boat unprofitable to operate.

        By British crew, I mean crew who are all holders of British passports.

  28. ale bro
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    The future of the fishing industry has to be export driven, because foreign consumers will pay top dollar for high quality fish, paying more than UK customers whose fish consumption is mostly battered.

    I don’t accept the notion that the UK should eat all the fish it catches.

  29. Epikouros
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    There is an even better way. That is to introduce property rights to the fishing grounds. Parcel up the fishing grounds and sell them to the trawler owners and the like who will to conserve their livelihood ensure that there will not be any over fishing. For those who put forward the argument that fish do not stay in the same place. They generally do and if they do not they do return. This system has and is being tried in other parts of the world and the results have been good for conservation. Perhaps mixing in conservation areas rotating them as stocks return to normal levels. We Know from the conservation areas we already have that stock rebuilt quickly. The EU’s fishing policies like all their other ones have been ill thought out, been counter productive and crass. To be expected when bureaucrats are given the power to make decisions.

  30. English Pensioner
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Invest in some Fishery Protection Vessels! Iceland guards its fisheries, we will need to do the same.

  31. Peter
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    As others point out :-

    1 Do we have a fleet and fisherman able to take advantage of the opportunity of a bigger catch?

    2 Do we have a navy capable of preventing illegal fishing by foreign boats?

    I was interested by the lack of media attention to May’s offer of more money on Brexit. Zimbabwe hogged the main BBC headline though it will have scant impact on people in the UK.

    It is almost as though they are worried about the public reaction so they have made a decision to deliberately downplay it.

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, from time to time over the past thirteen years or so I’ve pointed out that the ECJ should have been expressly excluded from any jurisdiction over the process of withdrawal of an EU member state.

    But of course that was not how the euromaniac Lord Kerr chose to draft Article 50 TEU and consequently it may turn out that even if the other EU institutions stop messing us about we will still have to abandon that agreed process and instead exercise our sovereign right to simply leave.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/21/campaigners-could-throw-spanner-works-brexit-leading-european/

    “Brexit could be delayed for a year if Remainers appeal to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), a former EU judge has suggested as he claimed such a scenario could be a “blessing in disguise”.

    Sir Konrad Schiemann, who previously sat at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of which the ECJ is a part, suggested the legality of the UK’s Brexit deal could be challenged by a business or an individual at home or abroad.

    Such a legal challenge could be a “spanner in the works”, he said, and could result in “an extra year or maybe longer” to hammer out an improved deal.

    David Jones, the former Brexit minister, warned such a legal challenge could leave the UK in a “period of limbo” and said it demonstrated the importance of Britain being prepared to walk away without a deal.””

    Incidentally also the Sun is losing patience with the EU playing “silly beggars”:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4969702/the-sun-says-eu-negotiations-are-a-farce-after-demanding-more-money/

    “THE SUN SAYS We are doubting the point of negotiations after the destructive EU asked for more money showing that this whole charade has descending into a farce

    We do have to ask how much do we want to be an independent free-trading nation or else we will be tied to Brussels forever”

    At least somebody is speaking up on our side; we don’t really see the government doing that, instead they blather on about “our friends and partners” when these people are not actually behaving as friends but as enemies.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Actually I wrote about this here exactly one year ago:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2016/11/22/who-is-against-the-world-establishment-and-why/#comment-843879

      Whereupon another “Andy”, not the wildly pro-EU anti-Brexit and abusive “Andy” who has posted above but a more sensible patriotic “Andy”, replied that the EU had already broken its own treaties by arbitrarily excluding the UK from activities while it was still a member state, possibly constituting “constructive abrogation” of the EU treaties by the EU itself … well, that’s perfectly credible as the EU has form on casually breaking its own rules when that is convenient, as anybody knows who has closely observed it over the years.

  33. fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    O/T I see that Centrica are highlighting the fact that the switch to renewable energy is costing a bomb and that the poor are finding it hard to heat and eat. They want the government to consider these price rises to be paid for from taxes. They have at last woken up to the fact that wind farms in particular are a scam earning the developers vast sums of money to switch off. This scenario is becoming a regular event in Scotland where wind farms are being erected even though others in the same area are being switched off on a regular basis because of too much energy on the grid. The wind farm near us is curtailed to only 45% operation!! Yet another wind farm is soon to be completed only a mile away. There are others in the pipeline too. When is Mrs May going to realise that the poor are being immorally penalised in the quest to control so called man made global warming? It is disgraceful.

  34. Beecee
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I thought Mr Gove had already announced that he would allow the EU fishing fleets access to our waters after Brexit?

    • acorn
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      He has to, he hasn’t got an option. The boats that are doing the fishing of UK quota now, will still be doing it post Brexit. It will stay that way until the UK has some 6,000 tonne super trawlers of its own.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        And owners, and crew..

      • NickC
        Posted November 22, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

        Acorn, Yes he has got another option – we can choose to leave the fish in the sea.

        • acorn
          Posted November 23, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          Good luck to the government that ends up with no Cod in the Fish & Chip Shops; and, no Salmon in Waitrose! Because we left the “fish in the sea”.

      • David Price
        Posted November 23, 2017 at 5:38 am | Permalink

        The quota is an EU quota, if we are no longer in the EU then EU quotas are irrelevant, only UK quotas will matter. We should build up or fleet and fish with methods and volumes to match our needs, not those of foreign fleets and governments.

  35. James Neill
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    You would have thought that the subject of fishing policy would have been included in the exit talks now ongoing- suffice to say that this was probably government oversight that left it out. Truth is that this is a very complex area governed by many international treaties and EU conventions that will have to be teased out if we are to make a success of it..Fisheries for UK makes up only about 1% of our GDP and could be included in talks on the future trading relations and maybe with the withdrawl of CAP payments to the farmers because that is how EU fisheries policy developed in the first place when we agreed to swop fishing rights for CAP payments.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 23, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Suffice to say that the UK government too readily and too quietly agreed to the EU’s stupid obstructive idea of sequential rather than parallel negotiations.

  36. James Matthews
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    No doubt good ideas, but we really aren’t going to gain much if we don’t take full control of our laws, resources and money. The Government has now apparently offered £38 Billion and other concessions on extra rights for EU citizens, the role of the ECJ, defence co-operation and, for all the rest of us know, other things besides. and all this just to get negotiations started. We appeared to start talks from a kneeling position and are now more or less supine. Just when events in the EU are reinforcing our hand Mrs May looks determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. She looks set to replace Chamberlain as the benchmark for appeasers.

  37. JoolsB
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    No doubt fisheries will be repatriated to the devolved nations and by the UK, you really mean England John. So Scotland will be in charge of their own fisheries policy obviously making sure it’s all in their own interest and to their own advantage whilst of course Scots MPs will also be able to meddle and interfere in the UK Government’s fisheries policy for England.

    Sounds like a recipe for a good deal for England yet again (not!!!)

  38. Fraser
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    As can be seen from the quote below, it looks worryingly like the government has decided to negotiate merely for a ‘fairer share of quota’ rather than insisting on a our leaving the current quota system.

    The below exchange took place in Topical Questions on 2nd November 2017. I have included the Hansard link at the bottom of this post.

    “Suella Fernandes (Fareham) (Con)

    Bass has been fished in the Solent for centuries, and the exceptionally resilient fishermen of today are based in Warsash in my constituency. For decades, they have seen their livelihoods and freedoms eroded by EU regulations. Will the Minister explain to and reassure the fishermen in Warsash about the opportunities they will face once we have left the EU and taken back control of our fisheries policy?

    Mr Baker:

    As I have travelled during my duties, I have met a number of fishers who have been very keen to make sure that we take back control of our waters. I assure my hon. Friend that the Government will be seeking a fairer share of quota as we take control of our fisheries policy.”

    Hansard link to the above quote:
    https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2017-11-02/debates/9FF70968-B9C1-4688-9E6F-5F548A06C878/TopicalQuestions#contribution-095D783A-5122-4421-BE39-A123ABCC20E6

  39. Kenneth
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I have seen some anti-Brexit propaganda from UK fishing organisations and thought I’d “follow the money”.

    Seafood Grimsby & Humber recently put out a press release complaining about Brexit and it turns out it receives eu funding via the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

    I also wonder if there is some co-ordination going on. We have had “planes won’t land” week, “lost fishing grounds week” and no doubt plenty more to come, all funded by the eu – that’s our money being used to aim propaganda back at us!

  40. Adrian Ramsay
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Go vegan!

    Stop exploiting and harming animals, who do feel pain and are sentient.

    • JoolsB
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear!!

  41. stred
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    The figure of £36bn to bung the EU seemed a bit fishy until the figure of £9bn pa which the contributing countries don’t think they can pay was given by the EU commissioner for their budget. Mrs May is apparently happy to make sure they are not worse off so we stay in for 4 years until the election. 4×9=36. The pro Brexit under 40s will have to pay for our £40bn loan and they all want to keep paying apparently.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/882861/Brexit-news-Germany-Italy-France-EU-budget-hikes-Britain-leaves

  42. Iain Moore
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Of topic, but why are the OBR and Chancellor so pessimistic on growth ? 1.5% is pretty anemic , which is odd when he is predicting another 600k people in work. I just don’t see it that way.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Nor me?
      If businesses are getting the benefit of lower corporation tax they need to get their fingers out and finally show the lefties that the laffer curve is correct or they’ll end up with a bunch of 70s socialists in charge and then they’ll be sorry.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      One more thing exports are up, manufacturing is up. Spending on the public sector is now up. Let’s have some optimism.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Productivity

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 23, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Whose productivity?
        The public sector?
        The SME sector?
        Big Business?
        The self-employed sector?
        The gig economy?

        Just which sector is unproductive and by how much?

        Just how much turnover should each 37.5 hour worker generate in turnover in the UK to be considered “productive”?

  43. ian
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    The Great Depression rolls on. People don’t realize that when working tax credits change to uni credits the saving limit will only be 16000 pounds and 6000 pounds, so for families that have built up taxfree saving in saving isa account and saving share account under working tax credit will not get any benefits at all till they saving is below these limits.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      How can anyone save tax credits money it’s supposed to be for essential living expenses of families? Is your 16,000 figure correct? Because that’s a lot of savings, my parents have spent a working lifetime trying to save that and are still working in their 70s and didn’t get the help modern families get to raise us.

  44. Backtoback
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    The EU fishing policy of which we are a member is very complex and governed by international treaties and conventions. We entered into it largely as a swop deal way back in the 1970’s ie we swopped our fisheries fot CAP payments and to get into the EEC. To exit from all of this now will require seperate talks to tease out all of the elements. Around 1977 the EU pushed the EU fishing limits out to 200 miles and that’s how it stands now- i can’t see the EU giving over their waters now to the UK so very likely we will have to be content with our original limits out to 12 miles as it was before 1973.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 23, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Nope, it will be 200 miles and the EU can like it or lump it.

  45. A different Simon
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Very few fish stay in British waters all year round .

    Other European countries could ruin much of our fishing by harvesting in their own territorial waters or international waters .

    Sadly those on the European mainland just do not grasp conservation .

    The UK and Iceland need to educate them so that they understand that conservation is the only way a fishing industry is going to exist for their children .

  46. Peter D Gardner
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    As I understand it the editing the eu bill writes the CFO into UK law. Confirmed by government response to petition demanding cessation of the cfp. There is no fundamental reason why the Cfp should not be ditched on Brexit Day.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Do not worry. That bill is irrelevant. Either in or truly out. My bet is on truly out.

  47. Ed Mahony
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Fishing is really important but i think the government really needs to address how it intends to make the UK the second Silicon Valley after California. It needs a thorough strategy and investment including jizzing people up to help produce the high tech entrepreneurs of the future.

    High tech / software / digital is potentially huge for this country. We should be really looking at where to create our Silicon Valley. Cambridge is too remote. But somewhere between our two great universities, Oxford and Cambridge, somewhere such as Bicester, might be ideal.

    The young want to hear exciting things about the future of our economy. And the young are particularly interested in High Tech (not forgetting how the Rep. of Ireland has just produced two billionaire software techs still in their 20’s). If we’re not careful, there is going to be a brain drain of our young techies to Europe, America and Asia if our government fails to rise to the challenges and opportunities of the high tech industry. Not forgetting, how the young are already facing real challenges regarding the housing market as well as challenging times, economically, for a few years, after we leave the EU.

    • John
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      The UK has been at the forefront of every new development in history except for the last, mobile phone and pad technology.

      That mobile phone and pad tech took place when we were in the EU, the other successes when we were not!

      Wake up, shutting ourselves off from the World and placing a huge tariff barrier to the world where there will be 90% of trade is not clever.

      I note that there are two Eastern European countries that top the EU list for fast Broadband that we paid for. I say spend that money on broadband here.

  48. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Please remember, Mr Redwood, that the CFP does not apply in Iceland or Norway – both in EFTA. If the EU had given a couple of inches on fishing, Iceland might well have joined up.
    If we did join EFTA as a temporary measure while we fix up the exit, then we would be expected to put your ideas into practice very fast indeed!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 23, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Please remember that if you did try to transfer the UK from the EU to EFTA so that the UK could then stay in the EEA that process would have to involve negotiations on both fishing and farming, it would not be a matter of just signing a few forms.

  49. rk
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    It’s very difficult to have a policy based on days at sea – because it’s hard to estimate how many fish will be caught, particularly with new technology and techniques.

    Obviously fishermen want to catch as many as possible – and then if you get the numbers wrong you end up with a collapsing fish stock.

    • eeyore
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Fishermen don’t want to catch as much as possible. They want sustainable management of the resource their livelihoods depend on.

      However, regulation from outside leads to “tragedies of the commons”. Elsewhere in the world (as in parts of Canada) fishermen have recovered full management of their fishing grounds. Stocks have recovered and fishing becomes sustainable and profitable. It is a great conservative principle to trust the people. Fishermen should be trusted.

  50. Dennis Perrin
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    And the population feels better knowing we’re in control of our own affairs.

    • John
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Not yet if you hadn’t noticed.

  51. battleaxe
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    O/T
    Express article.
    “We were lied to …… ”
    Interesting article, also comments.
    Could this be the truth ?
    Going to read up on it.

  52. Richard
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    According to this June DE article, this has been choreographed for some time:
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/815782/Theresa-May-Election-2017-Jean-Claude-Juncker-Brexit-negotiations
    “THERESA May was urged to hold the General Election by Jean-Claude Juncker to make negotiating Brexit easier.
    The President of the European Commission apparently advised the British Prime Minister that her 17-seat majority would not be enough during exit talks.
    Mr Juncker allegedly claimed a larger majority would help Ms May during “pinch points”, such as establishing the sum of the UK’s divorce bill.
    A European Union source claimed: “During bilaterals, in the margins of summits, Juncker repeatedly told her he thought she should do it.”
    A second diplomat told the Observer: “People don’t understand. We want a deal more than anyone. We are professionals, we have a mandate to get a deal and we want to be successful in that.””
    There is a remain majority on each Cabinet committee.

    And J R-M has recently explained how the OBR’s 1.5% estimated current growth (despite 540,000 lower unemployment) follows logically from HM Treasury-set parameters. Prof Minford’s 15 economists think 2%+ feels about right
    http://brexitcentral.com/economic-heresy-brexit-will-speed-growth/

  53. a-tracy
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    You know John your government really are going to need a rebuttal unit. C4 news are so misrepresenting this budget, just now using charts that show massive differences in growth and we’re talking 0.2% or 3% margin but the graphics made it look like 40%!

    Every piece of positive news was delivered with a negative slant I’m sick of it, I just shouldn’t watch this new program anymore because it’s not news it’s their opinion.

    If we owe trillions we have to pay interest on that, we just borrowing often for other nations in the EUs benefit.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      0.3%

    • Chris S
      Posted November 23, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      I share your frustration as do many others posting here including Denis who has repeatedly complained that DD’s department allows Barnier and Co to make all the running.

      However, I have noticed a slight change with DD now hitting back at Barnier and even arch-Remainer Hammond issuing vague threats to Brussels over the negotiations.

      Not before time !

      In particular, it looks like any extra payment offered in excess of €20bn during the transition will be conditional on us getting an acceptable deal. I can’t see that as being acceptable to Merkel and Co. They have said no conditions to the finance deal and anyway I am sure they are looking for €50-60bn and they regard continuing net contributions during the transition period as on top of that.

      In other words, they are actually looking for double the amount we are going to offer and with no conditions attached. €40bn is the most that the Government could get away with politically and that only if half of it can be presented as continuing contributions during a two year transition period.

      I believe that the Government are now expecting the talks to break down before Christmas and Hammond’s budget announcement of £3bn for No Deal preparations was not a coincidence.

      In the event of a breakdown, May will now go all out to prepare for no deal rather than wait to see what happens before the March summit. I suspect that seeing the possibility of the expected proceeds of blackmail disappearing before their eyes will cause ructions in Brussels and the Chancelleries all over Europe.

      They are terrified of the disharmony that will be caused if Juncker has to reduce payments to recipient Countries or demand more money from the eight that are net contributors. It will cause an irreconcilable breakdown in relationships between the two groups.

  54. a-tracy
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    25% makes it sound like a huge figure and it’s still growth despite BREXIT. And what if the OBR are wrong yet again just what are the consequences to them, do they get a pay cut? Pensions cut? I hope beyond hope they’re bloody wrong.

  55. a-tracy
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Everybody that runs a business knows you don’t go in every day talking the business down, even if you’re having a downturn you come up with something positive you can achieve together. You build spirits up with good productivity news and push them to do that bit more to achieve growth, make those extra phone calls, do all the tasks they don’t normally have time to do, get some training done. Yet our government just allows our news to constantly deliver down messages, you don’t hear the improvements in the £ the steady as she goes reaction of the ftse. NO People talking about the good things, the extra spending on the NHS no that’s just brushed over. Get your media facing MPs better trained because the one on C4 news just let Jon overtalk him I had to just turn off. I just can’t stand negative nellys all the time there is no balance.

  56. Original Richard
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I worry that Mrs May keeps saying she wants “a deep and special relationship” with the EU, especially as an EU supporter.

    I hope this is not code for not regaining our fishing grounds, laws and immigration policy and even remaining under the jurisdiction of the EU, mirroring EU laws and paying a fee to the EU for such a rotten (free?) trade deal that the EU is able to export £100bn/year more goods to the UK than it imports from the UK.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 23, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      The problem with the UK isn’t the people, but the politicians who lack a clear vision about how to really grow our economy and improve productivity.

      With Labour now appearing stuck in 1970’s political/economic ideology and the Tories in 1980’s political/economic ideology.

      The way forward is surely to try and turn the UK into the world’s second Silicon Valley. But that requires vision and leadership. Business and universities are key but you need someone in government coordinating everything by focusing on a geographical hot spot for the high tech industry (someone between Oxford, Cambridge and London), and focusing on infrastructure investment to help sew the seeds of private investment, to really focus on more Maths, Computer Studies and Engineering in education in general, getting more kids coding, bringing tech entrepreneurs and investors together more, and so on. Really getting people jizzed up. That is simply not happening.

      And of course the return of having the second Silicon Valley after California would be enormous in terms of revenue to our economic and decent jobs. But i just think politics is just way too ideological at the moment, lacking in good pragmatic, business sense.

      (And let’s get an agreement with the EU where we have full access to the single market, whilst keeping control of our borders, it will cost us, but worth it in the long-term, regarding our economy and what people really want: 1. decent jobs 2. strong economy 3. control of immigration). (And once we have a strong economy, including paying off our debt, then we can debate more ideological things such as how much people should be taxed and so on).

  • 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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