My speech during the debate on the Fisheries Bill [Lords]: New Clause 8 – Agency arrangements between sea fish licensing authorities, 13 Oct 2020

Sir John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): I am almost seduced by Opposition amendment 1. It is an admirable idea that we should land more of our own fish in our own ports, but I am probably not going to make it to their Lobby, because they lack ambition—why only 65%? We heard from my hon. Friend the Member for Moray (Mr Douglas Ross) that the Norwegians and the Icelandics, who have had control of their own fisheries for much longer or never surrendered them, have much higher percentages than that. These are small, prosperous countries that took their destiny in their own hands, and they have a much finer fishing industry than ours—crippled as it has been for too many years by the common fisheries policy.

So full marks to the Opposition for wanting, for once, to go in the right direction, but let us have a bit more passion and ambition, because it is a disgrace that, after all these years in the common fisheries policy, the overwhelming majority of our fish is taken by others, and it is a disgrace that this great fishing nation imports fish to feed ourselves. I want to see a much higher percentage than amendment 1 suggests, because I think we need the food for ourselves or we would be very good at processing it and adding value to it. I do not just want fresh fish for our tables; I also want to see us putting in those extra factories and processing plants in our coastal communities so that they can produce excellent fish preparations or derivatives of fish for our own purposes and for wider export around the rest of the world. This is crucial.

I am afraid that I am not seduced by amendment 2 either. While I and the Government, and I think everyone in this House, think that sustainability of our fishery will be most important, I do not think it is the only aim, or even the prime aim. It is a very important aim that we want to use our fishery to feed ourselves and others, and to produce much better jobs, more paid employment and factory processing. It is very important, as others have said, that we look after the wider marine environment —not just the fish stocks, but the environment in which the fish and others are swimming.

I think we need to have multiple aims, and I think that is what the Government are setting out. The Government are very much in favour of sustainability, so when we wait—desperately worried—on these negotiations, I say, “Please, Government, do not give our fish away again!” That mistake has been made too often—in the original negotiations to go into the European Economic Community and in annual negotiations thereafter. Let us hope that our fish is not given away in those negotiations. If we cannot fish enough of it in the short term, because we still do not have the boats and the capacity, let us leave it in the sea and rebuild our stocks more quickly, while we get that extra capacity. I would like to hear and see more from the Minister and the wider Government on how we are going to support the acquisition of much more capacity.

Should we not be helping fishermen and fisherwomen commission new boats from British yards, and have that combined shipbuilding capability and the fishing capability, leading on to the production capability? Many of our industries were badly damaged or demolished by our presence in the European Union. This is a prime example of an industry that was crippled. The scope for much greater prosperity for our coastal communities could be added to by the right schemes to get more boats, and by the right schemes such as enterprise zones that allow us to go right up the value chain and produce the best fish dishes in the world.


  1. Peter
    October 14, 2020

    New boats and more fishermen is a fine idea. However, it is not something you can just instantly increase at the stroke of a pen.

    Don’t underestimate the skills required in the fishing industry or its perilous nature.

    While we have moved on from the days of the Hull wives protesting lives lost at sea due to absence of radio control and thus medical support, fishing is still a tough occupation.

    Much of the catch in British waters is not to domestic tastes. So these will either have to change or markets for the catch will need to be secured.

    1. DaveK
      October 14, 2020

      Tastes do change. When I was a nipper, mussels and mackeral were bait. Now I eat them. During our early days of marriage we ate cheap cuts like lamb shoulder and pork belly. Nowadays these are restaurant menu items. The cookery shows can play a big part, instead of the lefty preacher get discards Hugh and Mr Stein publicising our wonderful varieties. I’m a firm covert to the delights of hake, monkfish and sea bass. I even wrap some in Parma ham as I still love Europe.

      O/T Sir John, edit/delete as required, but as an aside re conspiracy memes here is a message from the WEF

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        October 15, 2020

        Another organisation jumping on the “reset” bandwagon. These agenda’s are getting a little tedious.

        Let’s just return to normal with a little more home working within a blended working environment.

        No need to reset. Just continue as before.

    2. Butties
      October 14, 2020

      I suspect you are an inlander.

    3. anon
      October 14, 2020

      Leave it in the seas to regenerate the ecosystem.
      Redundant boats can be purchased or new ones built over time.

    4. NickC
      October 15, 2020

      Peter, What’s wrong with selling the catch to the EU? After all they presumably steal it to consume it at the moment.

  2. DavidJ
    October 14, 2020

    Good points. Maybe the squandering on HS2 and the “greening” could be put to better use in subsidising the shipbuilders and fishermen to get them up to strength.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 14, 2020

      Well almost anything would be better than HS2 and the expensive unreliable energy subsidy agenda. Fishing, tax cuts, redunancy payment for about 50% of civil servants nearly all “working” from home on full pay and with gold plated pensions.

      Excellent speach – JR why does anyone see it any other way I wonder?

  3. Stred
    October 14, 2020

    If the EU is allowed to continue fishing as at present, using industrial trawling, UK seas will be as empty of fish as the Mediterranean, which they have already destroyed. Allow strict licensing and only for the smaller boats to land the fish in the UK for checking.

    1. Andy
      October 14, 2020

      Tory MPs voted against measures to ban industrial trawling yesterday. The day before they voted to allow Frankenstein foods into the country. They also voted to break international law and voted against allowing MPs the chance to properly scrutinise – and vote on – trade deals.

      Whatever you think Brexit is they are demonstrating through their actions that it is in fact the opposite.

      1. Stred
        October 14, 2020

        Perhaps we need a British big trawler until there are enough small boats. A British trawler could be inspected and nets controlled to avoid doing what they did in the Med. I look forward to eating clean chloride washed chicken instead of the dirty stuff that had to be condemned in Holland.

      2. Dennis
        October 14, 2020

        JR – no reply to Andy’s assertions?

      3. Butties
        October 14, 2020

        Evere heard of the vote?

      4. Richard1
        October 14, 2020

        The expression Frankenstein foods is a nonsense. Forces such as the EU opposing GM foods are opposing cheaper healthy food for poor people and promoting poverty and starvation in poor countries. To protect rich EU producers. It is immoral.

      5. steve
        October 14, 2020


        “Whatever you think Brexit is they are demonstrating through their actions that it is in fact the opposite.”

        That’s ok, if they don’t deliver it properly they’ll be out of power – permanently.

      6. anon
        October 14, 2020

        Read the story about sub-standard EU regulations on Pork inspections.
        We need to leave have higher standards and bring back UK kitemarks and country of origin labelling.

      7. NickC
        October 15, 2020

        Andy, I certainly don’t buy EU pork – perhaps you need to catch up on the EU’s inferior standards?

        You don’t seem to want to hold your government to account. Leave does not prevent MPs being silly, but it does mean we know who the culprits are, and can vote them out of government. That is impossible in the EU – one of the main reasons to vote Leave.

  4. Sir Joe Soap
    October 14, 2020

    Well said

  5. NickC
    October 14, 2020

    JR, Well said, and well done. But I’m not convinced that Boris Johnson, the government or the civil service are listening. According to Bloomberg Mr Johnson has just capitulated a third time on his negotiation deadlines. I, and many others, have now lost faith. He will capitulate on the fish also. It’s what we’ve been doing for 50 years, and why we get such dreadful deals from the EU.

    1. Andy
      October 14, 2020

      We had a great deal as an EU member state. And Brexit will be worse. When you accept that – as many of us did four years ago – then this process becomes less painful for you. You are negotiating to make things worse. Just decide how much worse and we can all move on – until the next generation undo it.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        October 15, 2020

        In a nutshell- thanks Andy.

        1. Edward2
          October 15, 2020

          You both still don’t get it.
          It is about being a free independent sovereign nation.
          In charge of our laws, borders and money.
          You both talk only about trade.

          You seem to be in favour of independence for many other nations but not the UK

        2. Fred H
          October 15, 2020

          nuts – very apt.

      2. Narrow Shoulders
        October 15, 2020

        We had a one sided deal which favoured the EU.

        We paid them to import more of their goods than we sold them while being told how to make the stuff we sold. We subsidised French farmers and European fishermen to sell us produce we can grow ourselves.

      3. NickC
        October 15, 2020

        Andy, How can independence be worse? Most countries on the planet know you’re wrong. You think Belgian politicians are better than ours? It’s fundamental to democracy that voters can hold the government to account – and impossible in the EU. No generation is going to be hoodwinked by the EU again after the evidence of the last 50 years. When you get used to that, it will be less painful for you.

    2. beresford
      October 14, 2020

      Worrying noises, are we approaching the time where JR and other principled Conservatives will have to leave the party and join a new one dedicated to leaving the EU, controlling immigration, and rejecting globalism and the Cancel culture?

    3. Lynn Atkinson
      October 14, 2020

      Now the Tory Party is on the line, if they don’t get rid of this dangerous madman who is causing untold harm across the country, they fail the test.
      Boris is a total failure. Not surprised but so distressed at calls from desperate tenants, family and friends. We are reaching collapse point. The people will take years to recover from the trauma to which they have been fruitlessly subjected.

      1. glen cullen
        October 14, 2020

        Compared to the average worker Boris is on a fortune, in a safe job, surrounded by people on high salaries in safe employment – Boris and his team don’t understand the real hurt and difficulty people are in

        1. Fred H
          October 15, 2020

          is that Boris or the great majority of the Conservative party?

    4. TrueBrexiter
      October 15, 2020

      Nick, it is clear from all the briefing to the media that Boris plans to cave in on fish, sign up to EU rules on all manner of things (this “level playing field” thing) and, I wouldn’t be surprised, agree special rules for EU immigration and refugees. We need to watch which Conservative MPs sound the warning. Remember that last year when Boris surrendered Northern Ireland, not one single Conservative MP voted against

      1. Simeon
        October 15, 2020

        It has been clear for some time. Johnson’s candidature for PM never inspired confidence, his rhetoric was unconvincing, and it seemed the best hope for Brexiters was that he has a distant relationship with the truth, and so might be relied upon to do other than he indicated.

        But the game was very obviously up when the (minimally tweaked) WA was the central plank of his Brexit manifesto. Why sign up to such a disadvantageous treaty if you were going to wind up with no deal in the end? (An FTA of the kind discussed with the EU was always incompatible with a proper Brexit. Any fool could see that.) The deal was done when the WA was ratified in January. The ‘Sovereignty’ clause was a sop to Brexit-leaning Tory MPs that was never intended to be invoked to secure a proper Brexit.

        In short, what is playing out now was decided eighteen months ago. The only difference between May and Johnson was that Tory MPs and voters were willing to buy from Johnson. They were selling the same product, in very slightly different packaging. The forces ranged against Brexit are structural, and these structures remain not only intact, but further strengthened by the virus response, which has disproportionately affected SMEs as against big businesses and corporations.

        1. NickC
          October 15, 2020

          Simeon, Very true. I decided in 2013 that, if we ever got the chance to leave the EU, the only feasible option was to walk away. Easy to see in advance that the EU can never be trusted, and that our establishment are either dupes on in the EU’s pockets.

  6. Ian @Barkham
    October 14, 2020

    Sir John

    I agree with the entire content and thrust of your speech.

    We now need the next phase a ‘Clean Break’, 4 years of talk-talk, delay and immense cost. All this kicking the can down the road is costing the UK, its people, the taxpayer and industry more than what could ever come out of any dealings with the EU. Their demand for a say and continued rule of the UK is an insult. It is clear that the EU plan from the get go was to inflict maximum financial and commercial damage on the UK for rejecting their rule.

    1. Andy
      October 14, 2020

      There have not been four years of talks with the EU. Trade talks started in February 2020 and have been severely impacted by COVID.

      Trade deals, decent ones at least, take years to negotiate properly. And, usually, both sides go into them knowing what they want. The Brexiteers have never had a clue. On the one hand the promise higher standards, on the other – through their actions – they demonstrate a desire to race to the bottom.

      Frost has also shown himself to be particularly inept. Negotiating, as he did, the Northern Ireland protocol which placed a border down the Irish Sea and then necessitated Tory MPs voting to allow ministers to break an International treaty which those same Tory MPs had passed into law just months earlier.

      Mr Barnier is certainly not going up against the brightest stars in the sky.

      1. NickC
        October 15, 2020

        Andy, We have been in talks with the EU (God knows why, because they can’t be trusted) ever since the UK submitted the Art50 letter. That the EU contravened its own law by separating out the leaving agreement from a trading agreement, does not alter the fact of talks spread over nearly 4 years.

    2. beresford
      October 14, 2020

      Either our negotiators are grossly incompetent or they are conspiring with the EU against the people of this country. Any further delay strengthens the EU position and incentivises more intransigence. We will be ‘forced’ into a position where we either become an EU colony or have to beg for a two-year ‘extension’ on the EU’s terms. But I suspect that Boris is fully aware of that. How long will it be before his backing group of Tory MPs finally turn on him as did the group of Mounties in Monty Python’s ‘Lumberjack Song’?

  7. XYXY
    October 14, 2020

    I agree entirely. I hear many remainers saying that fishing is unimportant because it’s “only” 0.5% of our GDP… ONLY? And that’s when stuck in the CFP resulting in decades of decline!!

    The concern of many Brexiteers is that there will be concessions from here on fishing, but also that the whole thing may be a smokescreen for quiet concessions in other areas such as State aid and level playing field.

    We are also under-asking on financial services and while we get bogged down in the unreasonable demands of the EU, attention is being diverted from the areas of concern to the UK.

    I can only hope for WTO (initially), followed by a period of sensible negotiation once the heat goes out of the situation. We really don’ need a trade deal with the EU, with only 7% of our GDP coming from trade with them (and that’s before discounting “the Rotterdam effect”).

    1. steve
      October 14, 2020


      “The concern of many Brexiteers is that there will be concessions from here on fishing, ”

      Actually Frost already tried it by offering Macron a fisheries transition period, for want of better description. But apparently the french turned it down.

      Frost had better think carefully before selling us out.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      October 14, 2020

      Exactly, the EU is small potatoes and shrivelling as we speak.

  8. Andy
    October 14, 2020

    I see the government is going the extra mile for hauliers. It is putting in portaloos at its new Brexit lorry parks. Not that many hauliers will be able to go (to Europe that is, rather than toilet) because the government has not got enough licences for hauliers.

    Strangely it turns out that despite just wanting a Canada style deal the Tories also want access for their trucks and truckers. Canada currently sends no trucks or truckers to Europe due to the fact that it is thousands of miles away and doesn’t have a land border. And yet apparently the Canada deal the Tories want should include recently toileted hauliers.

    Anyway, at least we won’t have any problems with aviation. (Except that our planes have no legal basis to operate in Europe after Brexit, that our pilots are now not
    qualified and our safety regime is not compliant.)

    But – on the plus side – something about fish and foreigners.

    1. Edward2
      October 14, 2020

      This has nothing to do with the article above which was about fishery policy.

      Your argument about Canada and lorries is silly.
      Canadians have no problems travelling in their vehicles in America and vice versa which is a proper comparison.
      And you aviation Project Fear is complete nonsense.

      1. margaret howard
        October 14, 2020


        Maybe that’s why:

        “The Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement laid the groundwork for a multilateral and multicultural agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has helped to increase trade amongst all three member countries.”

        We once belonged to a similar trading bloc. It was called the EU and you Brexiteers chose to destroy it.

        1. Edward2
          October 15, 2020

          Free trade arrangements are fine.
          But Canada and Mexico remain independent sovereign nations.
          America doesn’t make their laws directives regulations and rules.
          They dont pay America billions a year to have this arrangement.
          You dont seem to understand the huge difference.

        2. Mike Wilson
          October 15, 2020

          You are really grasping at straws if you try to compare NAFTA with the EU. One is a supra government that demands large financial contributions from some members, insists on the free movement of people between members, has a ‘foreign secretary’ (a high priestess or some such nonsense) and insists on its legislation being made law in each member country. The other is a trade agreement. Which, of course , is what we we’re told we had signed up to when we had a referendum in 1975.

    2. beresford
      October 14, 2020

      The EU doesn’t send any trucks or truckers to Canada either, nor do EU truckers use Canada as a through route to other EU countries. Presumably EU planes have no legal basis to operate in our airspace either. To listen to you, anyone would think that no other country in the world operated outside the EU.

    3. ukretired123
      October 14, 2020

      Poor Andy dribble as usual.

    4. Robert McDonald
      October 14, 2020

      Fascinating argument pointing out that trade can be done, effectively, without the use of European ports. I don’t think however it really supports the threat implied that we will not be able to take our trade in to Europe, that of course works both ways, and of course Europe exports more to the UK than we do to them. And if we don’t have legal basis to operate in Europe, we will fly around as required, and won’t European holiday resorts be upset.
      The plus side of fishing does seem to be giving French and Spanish fisheries sleepless nights, the French have already started having hissy fits by throwing stones and things.
      The only “foreigners” you can be referring to must be those who will not meet the needs of our industries and economy, i.e. benefit seekers, and worse, that’s why the points system being proposed has real benefits to our society.

    5. Sir Joe Soap
      October 14, 2020

      Guess what they bring more here than we take there, and go back again.
      Somebody is taking the p— so to speak.

    6. Know-Dice
      October 14, 2020

      I guess Ryan Air will not be able to fly from Stansted and all those exports from the ROI will need to find another way to EU land.

    7. Original Richard
      October 14, 2020

      I wouldn’t be surprised at all to learn that the EU are making it difficult for us to get licences for UK hauliers to operate in the EU (not Europe) and/or that the EU are wanting to make it impossible for our airlines and pilots to fly in the EU (not) Europe.

      This is how we have been treated by the EU for the whole time we were members and hence why I voted to leave.

      The difference is that we now can see how badly we are treated whilst as members our pro-EU establishment elites hid this truth from us.

  9. Bruan
    October 14, 2020

    Noble sentiments John but a little naive especially if we cannot get sufficient backing in the House. In addition you don’t say anything about recruitment and training- it’s my opinion that our young People have gone much too soft for this type of work

  10. Martin in Cardiff
    October 14, 2020

    Oh, fish again – that tiny fraction of a single percent of GDP.

    Whereas our membership of the Single Market and Customs Union enables about twelve percent.

    It’s all colour-of-passports stuff this, emblematic, but of little material relevance to many people’s lives.

    1. Edward2
      October 15, 2020

      Everything is a small percentage of the whole economy.
      If you add all these sectors together you get the whole economy.

      PS Fishing didn’t used to be small before the EU wrecked it.

    2. NickC
      October 15, 2020

      Martin, For an industry that is a “tiny fraction of a single percent of GDP”, the EU sure is fighting like hell to retain it. Don’t you think that’s peculiar? I do. And even by your own admission our fishing industry is quite definitely not “emblematic”. You’re also confusing trade with ownership. But that’s deliberate I assume?

  11. glen cullen
    October 14, 2020

    Excellent speech – however are we giving an extra 3 years fisheries status quo to the EU

    While the content of the Bill is sound it means nothing if we secure a deal with the EU

    Roll on tomorrow for the ”great capitulation”

  12. Fred H
    October 14, 2020

    Our Government may be shortly seen to be sending a protesting man to collect the can lying on the road – who ends up kicking it further away!

  13. ChrisS
    October 14, 2020

    Very pleased to hear you say in the House “Should we not be helping fishermen and fisherwomen commission new boats from British yards ?”

    For the last three years I have been advocating here that our government should be commissioning a fleet of new boats to rebuild our fleet so that they can be leased to British skippers and crewed by British citizens. Every boat should have at least one apprentice to learn the trade and provide the manpower to expand the fleet further.

    If an early start had been made on this we would at least have been ready to catch the fish that we actually consume here with our fish and chips. It is ridiculous that at present the French take 84% of the cod caught in British waters. There will have to be a further transition period because we currently don’t have the means to take back that trade ourselves.

  14. acorn
    October 14, 2020

    Sounds like you are going for CBBC Blue Peter fishing badge JR. Again, you fail to mention that UK fishermen, prefer to sell their fish quota licences they get for free from the UK government; to foreign Super Trawlers, while they stay home with their slippers on. Hence, they are branded by the Europeans as “Slipper Skippers”.

    This is yet another example of your government’s ability to take money from the public purse and put it in private purses; that will no doubt, show their appreciation come election time. I see today you are contracting, yet again, £80 millions worth of post Brexit Ferry trips! No doubt there will be a hefty cancellation compensation pay-out written in the deal like last time.

    1. Edward2
      October 14, 2020

      You would sell your quota if it meant you could not earn a profit
      Not that you would ever have set to sea and risked your life to earn a living.

    2. Al
      October 15, 2020

      At last check around 20% of the catch is assigned to the small boats which are 80% of our fleet, and 80% of the catch must be landed by trawlers over a certain size, leaving much of the industry with no choice but to sell their quotas as the assigned quotas per boat are too small to cover the running costs.

      Apologies, checking the latest figures from Greenpeace, the small boats make up 79% of the fleet capacity, but are only allowed to land 2% (two percent) of the catch. Making it much worse.

      That is like saying that 79% of car owners in Great Britain are only allowed to use their cars during the same 28 minute period a day and for a tiny fraction of that. The remaining 21% can use their cars at any other time. As one of the 79% owners do you continue to use run, insure, and MOT your car? Or would you put it in storage and sell your share of the 28 minutes to one of the 21% and use that money to cover transport?

  15. Adam
    October 14, 2020

    We would not have taken back ‘control’ of our own waters, if we then then acted to lose control by enabling other countries to extract what they need: just so that we can buy it back from them with their processing costs added on.

    We certainly need extra factories and processing plants in our coastal communities so that they can do what helps themselves and us as fellow citizens locally, nourishing our tables at home and helping the tables presenting our export performance worldwide.

    We ourselves are the wider marine environment that needs to be well-maintained and protected along with our fine coastal colleagues fishing for solutions to succeed in every way.

  16. Everhopeful
    October 14, 2020

    Great speech.
    Total sense.
    Just hope, JR, that it is not pearls entirely wasted on swine.
    I would so love to see our fishing industry back after all these years.

  17. Jacob
    October 14, 2020

    It’ll be financial services for fishing

    1. Mark B
      October 15, 2020

      Yep ! And won’t be that greater deal either.

    2. NickC
      October 15, 2020

      Jacob, Our establishment may be that daft but I hope not. Financial services are trade. Fish (or more properly fishing rights) are ownership.

  18. M Davis
    October 14, 2020

    SJR … Let us hope that our fish is not given away in those negotiations. If we cannot fish enough of it in the short term, because we still do not have the boats and the capacity, let us leave it in the sea and rebuild our stocks more quickly, while we get that extra capacity. …

    Totally agree.

    I wonder what you think of Andy’s post @ 1:18 pm?

  19. agricola
    October 14, 2020

    The direction of your arguement is quite correct. It is also said that in terms of industrial size the fishing industry now or in the future can never be of financial significance. Do not be persuaded, fishing is emblematic of the UK as a sovereign nation. It is politically a hot potato and indicative of how seriously government takes Brexit. You must be prepared to defend it with vigour because for sure the French will test our resolve in the only way the anarchic French always react to not getting their own way. Be prepared to direct all our continental export activity via anywhere other than France.

    I think we are long overdue a Commons statement/ debate on exactly where we are up to re the Brexit negotiation. The press can be contradictory on their own front pages so in effect tell us little. If the real position can be discussed between the EU27 at this weekend we who voted to effect it deserve to know where we are up to.

  20. Butties
    October 14, 2020

    This by far, a country mile, one of the best speeches you have made that I have read. It covers all bases. Whilst Remainers blab on about how insignificant our fisheries are in the grand scheme of things ( tell that to Barnie and crew). I challenge them to watch BAIT (Film4 catch up), to realise how important this issue is to coastal communities.
    Sir, I have added a link to Bait which I hope you will accept. only 3 days left to watch.

  21. steve
    October 14, 2020


    A well written article, there’s no denying that.

    However I trust you are astute enough to realise that actually any EU / French access to our waters is absolutely not acceptable, and that giving any concession at all to Macron will put the conservatives out of government.

    You [conservatives] need to think very carefully; either Macron is out on his backside, or you are.

  22. Anonymous
    October 14, 2020

    go right up the value chain and produce the best fish dishes in the world.

    cheap cod and haddock please for my Friday night treat.

  23. Freeborn John
    October 14, 2020

    Boris has shown weakness in brexit talks which have resulted in the EU expecting further concessions. He should have walked away this week to force them to reconsider at the EU Council at the end of the week. Now they think they need do nothing and there won’t be another EU Council too late. Bluffing won’t work ; he has to walk away and let them chew over WTO tariffs on their trade surplus and zero fish.

    1. NickC
      October 15, 2020

      Exactly so. We will never get a good deal because the EU is used to us capitulating at the last moment.

      1. Fred H
        October 15, 2020

        everybody is!

  24. Alan Paul Joyce
    October 14, 2020

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Well I never! Boris Johnson delays his decision to quit the Brexit talks until after the EU summit ends on Friday and demands the EU commit to round-the-clock talks. That’s the spirit Boris. That’ll really shake ’em!

    Boris Johnson does not have the wherewithal to carry out his threat. Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel will give him his 24-hour talks and continue to string him along throughout the rest of October with the promise of a deal that will always be just in reach as long as the UK “moves forward, finds solutions and negotiates in good faith”. Which, of course, is EU-speak for concessions.

    I feel sorry for our negotiator Mr. Frost. Fancy being holed up all day, every day, with Monsieur Barnier. Mon Dieu!

  25. Iain Moore
    October 14, 2020

    There are video clips of French fishing boats attacking British ones with flares and cutting across their bows.

    If we get the restoration of our fishing waters we will need to protect them. Has the Government put in some new orders for fisheries protection vessels? Probably not, but with the coast guard busy acting as Priti Patel’s taxi service, who is going to do it?

  26. Fred H
    October 14, 2020

    15th October tomorrow……
    any news?

    1. glen cullen
      October 15, 2020

      The Great Capitulation beings

  27. steve
    October 14, 2020


    Judging by the comments here I think it fair to say Boris ABSOLUTELY MUST now choose between pandering to a whingeing business minority & saving Macron’s ass, or face the very real prospect getting himself and the conservative party thrown out.

    Simple choice, but know this – We mean it !

    Tomorrow is 15th, stick to your word and walk.

  28. Lindsay McDougall
    October 15, 2020

    As we steadily increase our share of the fishing in British waters, will there not be opportunities to buy fishing boats from Dutch, French and Spanish owners who will lose market share. Things will go easier if it’s win win.

  29. Sea_Warrior
    October 15, 2020

    Are you seduced, Sir John, by the idea that the EU should be paying handsomely for every ton of fish taken from the UK’s EEZ?

  30. Bryan Harris
    October 15, 2020

    I can only agree with the thrust of this speech – I hope the government was listening.

    Getting back a real fishing industry would be a boost for the whole economy…

    I fear, like many others though, that Boris is preparing to trade away much of this prosperity to get a FTA — What else is he planning to give away …. and indeed, what has he already given away to the EU?

    Does anyone know why Boris is so afraid to go with a no-deal? It wouldn’t have anything to do with the expected onslaught from the left and the MSM, would it?

  31. Mark B
    October 15, 2020

    Good morning

    I disagree that we should just leave the fish in the sea until we have sufficient capacity. We should offer licenses to foreign trawlers but tell them, no drag nets or pulse fishing. Plus. The quotas will be reduced year on year so don’t count on it long-term.

  32. BJC
    October 15, 2020

    Bravo, Sir John. There’s very little to commend having our fishing industry linked to the avaricious EU and refreshing that there’s no expression of concern for their industry. It’s their problem and they’ve had in excess of 4 years to come to terms with it.

    Off topic, I hear Mr Sunak is proposing alternative press conferences to explain the potential impacts of the Covid measures supported by SAGE and their disciples. Leaving aside the issues it raises with collective responsiblity, it could be a workable idea if carefully managed. It could certainly be used to undermine Labour, where every call for continued/tougher restrictions could be translated into support for Mr Sunak’s possible impacts! On balance, it would probably work to the government’s advantage.

  33. Christine
    October 15, 2020

    After watching the TV series Fishtown about the Scottish fishing industry , I’m very interested to understand why the majority of trawlers now employ crews from Africa and the Philippines. Is it that the labour is cheaper, British workers don’t want the jobs or trawler skippers don’t want to train youngsters?

    This question needs answering if we want to grow the fishing industry in this country.

  34. Jazz
    October 15, 2020

    When, hopefully, we get sovereignty over our fish and waters, what precautions have been put in place for when the EU trawlers continue to plunder as per current practice?

    If you believe that the French and Spanish trawlers are going to meekly stay in port you are being incredibly naive.

    Of course if Bojo capitulates, as many expect, then this will not be an issue.

  35. Diane
    October 15, 2020

    So, it’s the 15th. EU Council Summit in progress. Our UK leader’s deadline was never believed by the EU powerful anyway nor many here after the many other dates / facts /leaks bandied around daily in recent weeks. Our leaders in Brussels are to discuss us this afternoon or, as some, we read, would prefer, over their dinner this evening instead. The old chestnut of ‘Insufficient Progress’ persists. Now where have we heard that one before. It’s likely, we read, EU members will not agree to whatever is proposed unless of course it is capitulation. They see us as weak & we will suffer the worst of all we are told. We are instructed by another country’s leader / politician that we should ‘do the right thing’ ( Italy, last week ) The undercurrents of the politics which exist between ‘Berlin’ and ‘Paris’ looms over everything that is going on. The legacies of the leaders of France & Germany and the EU Commission President herself are all in play. I would like to think that some of those people sitting there today, perhaps in a moment of decency, might reflect on what their position might be faced with the same situation with their own countries and citizens.
    The PM will consider tomorrow, we are told, after the summit. I think the least we can expect from our UK leader, straight from the horse’s mouth, on Monday, if not before, is an update to this country’s citizens and spare us having to read the crass & repetitive headlines & guesswork in the press.

  36. M Brandreth- Jones
    October 15, 2020

    Primarily we need to restock in our own shores. Some fish travel further than others , others hang around our near waters .

  37. Fred H
    October 15, 2020

    EU leaders have called for post-Brexit trade talks to continue beyond the end of the week – the deadline suggested by Boris Johnson. At a two-day summit in Brussels beginning on Thursday, they said progress in key areas was “not sufficient” to reach a deal. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said fresh “intensive” talks should aim to reach a deal around the end of October. But his UK counterpart said he was “disappointed” by the EU’s approach. In a tweet, David Frost said he was “surprised” the EU “is no longer committed to working ‘intensively’ to reach a future partnership”. He said the EU was expecting “all future moves” toward a deal to come from the UK, which he called an “unusual approach to conducting a negotiation”.
    He added the prime minister would set out his “approach” to the future of the talks on Friday.

    —–Hopefully the PM will say ‘go away’ or something along those lines.

  38. rose
    October 15, 2020

    The Member for landlocked Wokingham is always the best on this subject. An inspiration.

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