Mr Redwood’s reference to fisheries during the European Union Bill debate, 25 Jan 2011

Mr William Cash (Stone) (Con): My hon. Friend the Member for Witham (Priti Patel) referred to fishing, and there she was in sensitive and deep waters. She explained very well the six-mile limit, the fisheries limit of up to 12 miles, the 2002 regulation and the associated issues, but that does not alter the fact that this is a serious problem for the fishermen of the United Kingdom. In considering the idea that there should be any restriction of our sovereignty and territorial limits in these matters, we should remember that the entire fisheries policy, which we shall not debate in detail today, I can assure you, Mr Caton, is a complete travesty. There is no question about it: it constitutes the most monumental waste of good fish, which are thrown away and literally left to rot. It is pathetic, and I need say no more than that. That we should regain a degree of sovereignty and territorial competence in relation to fishing is to my mind a given.

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): My hon. Friend has made a very powerful comment. Many of us have felt for many years that the fisheries policy was a scandal. Successive Governments have said that they would do something about it; none have yet succeeded. Does this not show why we are also worried about the surrender of criminal justice powers? We are surrendering them to the very people who have made such a mess of our fisheries.

Mr Cash: Absolutely, and the same problem permeates so much of what goes on in the European Union. I am anxious not to get into discussing the merits of the European Union as a whole, and I shall certainly ensure that I keep to the amendments; but I entirely agree with my right hon. Friend.

1 Comment

  1. Scottspeig
    January 26, 2011

    And yet is the coalition going to do anything about it?

    I doubt it (as there are not enough conservative Conservatives to force the issue), and that will further erode our sovereignty to Brussels.

    I feel a change of leader for the next election is required. An actual leader who knows about the real world outside westminster and one that is a true Blue through and through (hmm, that rhymes too)

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