The Brexit opportunity – a new fishing policy

It is time for us to consider how the UK should use its new won powers of self government once the notification has been sent that we are leaving.  The Repeal Bill should more properly be called the Great Continuity Bill, as it will simply confirm all current EU laws and policies as good UK laws and policies. As soon as it is through the UK Parliament can then get to work amending and improving the inherited law. The most obvious place to start is fishing.

The UK as a sovereign country again can establish its territorial waters out to 200 miles from our coast or to the media line with another country’s seaside. The UK can decide what regulations to impose on fishing in these waters. Out must go the idea of quotas with discards of dead fish. The first new rule should be that the fisherman lands all his catch, rather than waste dead fish by putting them back.  With modern technology the Regulator could see what is being caught and could if damage is being done to our fishing grounds require the fisherman to move on or amend his fishing practice. A local regulator should be able help fishermen choose the right net mesh and find the best locations to take more of the fish we want to catch and avoid more damage by catching too many of the wrong size and kind of fish.

The UK will of course need to discuss its new arrangements with neighbouring countries, including Iceland and Norway outside the EU, and France and  the Netherlands inside the EU. There is also the issue of current rights to quota held by Spanish and other fishing interests. Do you think there should be some kind of transitional arrangement for those who have bought businesses and quota? What rights will these fishing businesses have when we decide to change our approach and are no longer under the control of the Common Fishery policy?


The UK will be a full member again of the world bodies for fishing.


  1. Lifelogic
    March 23, 2017


    Fishing, Cap, Energy Policy, Employment Laws and all sort of thing need urgently addressing, getting rid of daft subsidies and deregulating. Alas May is clearly not of this mind quite the reverse.

    1. Lifelogic
      March 23, 2017

      Theresa even wants to build on the bonkers and counter productive employment laws and probably all the other things too. I tend to think that socialism in just built into some people’s genes, though a few of the brighter ones do grow out of it or mellow with accumulated wisdom. Theresa even appoints Matthew Taylor to posts and still Hammond and May seem to want to attack and kill self employment and U.K. competitivity.

      But if May has not seen the light at 60 what possible hope is there?

    2. Peter D Gardner
      March 23, 2017

      Indeed. The Ports Directive is another and here are some very unwelcome things in the pipeline. EU Public procurement rules should be lifted for any projects planned to complete after Brexit. The requirement to advertise jobs in the EU should be scrapped. The Clinical Trials and working time directives are others that should be excepted in the Great Continuity Bill.
      I do not understand why the government has not already made this clear. It is not as though these are difficult to identify.

      Mrs May should also seek or insist on exemptions from forthcoming rules and directives that will be introduced before Brexit comes into effect. EU jurisprudence, for example.

  2. John
    March 23, 2017

    I don’t think we will have the fleet from day one to be able to fish the grounds adequately so some phasing would be needed. Selling year long quotas to overseas until we have the fleet.

    Do we need infrastructure at ports?

    Do we need to designate ports to have infrastructure spent on them?

    Quota sizes do need to change to make it financially viable to catch the lower value fish and large sized fish. I believe the fishermen like the idea of days at sea to regulate the catch.

  3. Mick
    March 23, 2017

    First off my heart goes out to the families murdered and injured down in London , terrorist will never win

    Now back to your question, That’s right we’ll get our fishing rights back, then give them back to Scotland then the snp will give them back to Brussels

    1. Dennis
      March 23, 2017

      Terrorists are winning to a certain extent – extra costs to the taxpayer, having to be vigilant, extra regulations at airports etc., extra police staff to do terrorist work, extra prison accommodation needed, more TV time to report their activities etc., etc.

  4. Mark B
    March 23, 2017

    Good morning.

    First, we will not be winning back new powers but old ones that parliament gave away.

    Second. Once Art.50 is issued we will still be members of the EU. Only after we’ve left can we be a sovereign nation again.

    I demand that the government upon issuing Art.50 make a statement that the UK fishing grounds are non-negotiable.

    All carches to be landed in UK ports.

    Non-UK fishermen to be offered licences at usual rates.

    We voted to be an independent sovereign nation once more. I expect no less.

    1. John barnes
      March 24, 2017

      Yes totally agree!

  5. Anthony
    March 23, 2017

    Reestablishing control over fishing was an important promise to fishing communities. There mustn’t be any backsliding over this. However, the UK fishing fleet will not magically mushroom to its former size the moment the UK leaves the EU. Meanwhile, there are thousands of fishermen from other EEA countries that will be out of a job if they are summarily removed from UK waters. Our interlocutors in the article 50 negotiations will surely be keen to defend their interests.

    We should taper the access to our waters held by foreign fishing fleets over a period of 7 years, say. Over this time the UK fleet will build up and take the place of the foreign fleets in a controlled fashion. EEA governments and fishermen will surely appreciate the extra time that the fishermen will have to replace the income they currently gain from UK waters.

  6. Roy Grainger
    March 23, 2017

    Indications and hints from the government so far is that they are willing to concede fishing rights as part of the negotiations. If I have picked up these suggestions then certainly the EU negotiators will have too. I would support a lengthy (5 years) transitional period for Spanish fisherman with rights in UK waters, if they don’t get that there will be retaliation against UK residents and businesses in Spain.

    1. APL
      March 23, 2017

      Roy Grainger: “if they don’t get that there will be retaliation against UK residents and businesses in Spain.”

      And if they do get the five year transition, what’s to stop the foreign fishing vessels from utterly destroying what’s left of the fishing grounds?

      They will have no interest in conservation nor ‘farming’ the resource.

  7. Richard1
    March 23, 2017

    The UK should certainly play fair by anyone who has bought rights in good faith under current rules. I’d have thought we can’t do anything to institute a new regime for fishing until after we have left the EU.

  8. The Prangwizard
    March 23, 2017

    My view, to be rejected no doubt as too extreme, is that we are out, so they are out. They have from our A50 notice to consider what changes they should make. They can apply for permission to fish in our waters and we will offer them terms.

    We must build up a much stronger force of boats than we have now with orders to intercept all those who flout our rules. There will be many such. We should become Icelandic in other words. We must be resolute.

    And we should immediately make grants available for new fishing boats to be built, and here in England, nowhere else.

    All a fantasy I suppose as government will still be inclined to appease foreign interests.

    1. Graham Wood
      March 23, 2017

      Exactly right. Also it would be right to offer Spanish and French fishermen a transitional period for fishing rights but with strictly enforceable quotas.
      The CFP policy should be repudiated in toto just as soon as we leave.

  9. agricola
    March 23, 2017

    Appro Pro of yesterday, so you are now censoring peoples views based on fact because they do not fit in with your blinkered Wokingham view of what is happening in the UK. The first duty of government is the protection of the people. Yesterday we saw the failure of that duty despite the valiant efforts of those tasked with it on the ground. I give up on your diary and leave you to go fishing.

    1. agricola
      March 23, 2017

      Read Katie Hopkins in the Mail today. She sums it up perfectly.

    2. agricola
      March 23, 2017

      An even more sinister aspect of contributing to your diary is I find not just your ability not to publish anything you don’t like , but also to eliminate it from the record I keep on my computer of what I have said. This really is 1984 writ bold for which you should be thoroughly ashamed.

      Reply I don’t publish long items, items with references to unchecked sites, and blogs with allegations against individuals or named institutions that do not have backing evidence.

      1. A.Sedgwick
        March 23, 2017

        In defence of our host, it is his blog and he can choose what is inappropriate material. I probably over the years have been denied access but it doesn’t concern me or invalidate the value of his diary.

        1. graham1946
          March 23, 2017

          Yes he can, but that’s a funny idea A.S. What’s the point of asking opinions and then ignoring those not liked?

          1. Enock
            March 23, 2017

            It’s called a Government consultation. The decision is made before they seek your opinion. Post-democratic age and all that.

      2. MartynG
        March 23, 2017

        There is nothing at all sinister in John choosing, or not, to let our submissions appear on this, his personal blog. I would be very interested to hear how, as you suggest, he or his webmaster have the ability to delete files from your computer?
        On occasion my submissions have not appeared and I have absolutely no problem with that. Moreover none of my submissions have ever disappeared from my PC unless I myself have done so; so far as I know, neither has anyone else posting to John’s blog.

        1. agricola
          March 24, 2017

          I have repeated the absent contribution and it now awaits moderation. It is also filed under Favourites in a file named John Redwood responses. If it disappears from awaiting moderation I will check if it also disappears from Jon Redwood responses in Favourites as it has in the past.
          I would add that the absent contribution is short and to the point and in comparison with Richard Littlejohn in the Mail today is very restrained. He spells out reality in a much more direct fashion.
          I will now go and play with the street signs.

      3. graham1946
        March 23, 2017


        Some long posts and repetitive bleats seem more equal than others, without facts.

        You know well agricola is right. Only some opinions are o.k. His and mine suffer the same. I always try to be polite and factual, and as concise as possible, but that makes no difference.

        1. Mark B
          March 23, 2017


          All we can do is highlight as politely as possible that which we do not like.

        2. ChrisS
          March 23, 2017

          I appreciate and admire the fact that our host moderates this blog himself. While I am almost always supportive of the Conservative party, a lot of my posts lately seem to be delayed or do not appear at all, even when they are under my own self-imposed 200 word limit or are shorter than others that do appear.

          On the 22nd January our host said that “from today I will not be publishing comments which are long or part of a series of multiple comments the same day from the same person”

          I have pointed out in the last few days that certain contributors seem to be allowed free reign to post multiple and/or long statements while others are not. In the interest of fairness one would like to see some sensible and consistent rules applied across the board.

          Most word processors have a word count facility. Asking us to keep to a certain word limit on most occasions ( I suggest 200 ) and to submit only one post per topic, which our host has already requested, would save him a lot of time.

          These guidelines should be voluntary, our host need not have to monitor posts for brevity.

          (This post has only 199 words )

        3. MartynG
          March 23, 2017

          No one who reads or contributes to this blog can possibly know that Agricola – or anyone else for that matter, is right. For you to say that I do know simply cannot stand. And if you are both right as to your posts too often not appearing, how is it that John has made public your criticism of him today? I will say no on this topic.

      4. agricola
        March 24, 2017

        To add substance to my piece on Labour’s open door immigration, from 1997 to 2010 inclusive, a recorded 7,233,000 people entered the UK to stay. In the same period 4,755,000 left giving us a nett figure of 2,478,000 , or put another way the equivalent of a city the size of greater Birmingham. When you speculate on why housing, schools, transport infrastructure, and the NHS are all under pressure consider the immigration figures. If we look at 2011 to 2015 then 2,843,000 came into the UK and 1,605,000 left for a nett increase in the population of a further 1,238,000 For Labour the average nett immigration per annum was 177,000. The Lib/Dems and Conservatives between them managed an annual average nett immigration of 247,000. For all the hot air and talk that flows from Westminster it would seem that they are united in flooding the UK with new arrivals.

    3. a-tracy
      March 23, 2017

      Sometimes it’s best not to vent until you know the full picture, there is a lot of anger this morning following a day of upset and it is best not to shoot off as Channel4 News did yesterday before the information is official.

      1. graham1946
        March 23, 2017

        I can agree with that, but these comments are opinion pieces. If everything has to be authenticated and made factual there is no opinion or argument. We then get sterile or no debate. However bonkers my opinions may be or anyone else’s for that matter, they should be heard, unless they are legally actionable. There is far too much ‘moderation’ which is not needed and is a self inflicted hardship.
        Most people here are pretty sensible.

  10. eeyore
    March 23, 2017

    At this exceptional time it is good to see JR keeping calm and carrying on. This is the best answer to the hysterical nincompoops who perpetrate this sort of villainy. I hope Parliament will very soon find the sang-froid to do the same.

    That said, perhaps it could still find time to consider an appropriate memorial to PC Palmer, who gave his life literally defending the gates of democracy.

  11. A different Simon
    March 23, 2017

    Sadly most European countries do not seem to care about conservation .

    A Bass which is in the Solent in June could be in the South of France over Winter so Europe wide co-operation is needed if fish stocks are ever to recover .

    The UK must unilaterally set up a gold standard for conservation and hope others copy our example .

    In particular , quotas for sandeels and other wild “bait fish” which are turned into protein pellets/compound feed for farmed salmon , trout , wiener piglets need to reduced to almost nothing . There are alternative sources of protein .

    This will increase the abundance of natural food in our waters and attract edibles .

    At the same time the British fishing fleet was being scrapped due to quotas , EU money was allocated to buying the Spanish a state of the art new fleet so perhaps soft loans could be provided to kick start the revival of the British fishing industry .

    The UK must have it’s own fisheries-protection-vessels under command of British Naval Officers in a British navy , not part of the 50 year joint defence agreement Cameron agreed with France .

  12. alan jutson
    March 23, 2017

    First and foremost our territorial waters should return to the pre Common market boundaries, as anything less is giving away UK territory.

    I hope we are going to invest in some fishery protection vessels (British built) so we can enforce our limits and whatever is agreed as to how they are fished.

    As for transitional arrangements, they have the two year negotiation period.

    Just keep it simple.

    1. Tom William
      March 23, 2017

      Having watched David Davis being interviewed by the Commons Brexit Committee
      I was most impressed by his detailed replies and general grasp of where we are now and where we want to go. No waffle or evasions.

      As for criticism of our host, it is a rare pleasure to have a troll free blog and basic ground rules.

    2. Dennis
      March 23, 2017

      “First and foremost our territorial waters should return to the pre Common market boundaries, as anything less is giving away UK territory.”

      Yes but there are fishing grounds given to Spain, France and Holland or Belgium, I think, in perpetuity many years before 1975 – I can’t find good info on this via Google though.

      1. alan jutson
        March 24, 2017


        Perhaps they were handed over to the EU for use and control when we joined, but not ownership !

        If ownership had been passed to the EU, then this surely would also be the case for our farming land, which is under similar control.

    3. Peter D Gardner
      March 24, 2017

      UK sovereignty over its seas cannot simply return to the pre-common market boundaries. The full UNCLOS was agreed in 1982 and came into force in 1994. As it happens territorial rights were unchanged from previous agreements at 12nm but there are many other issues, eg. e EEZ which is critical, in the later agreements.

  13. alan jutson
    March 23, 2017

    Call the bill what you like, and I agree it does make sense from a continuity point of view, but I really do hope that a group of people are going to be constantly working on repealing much of the EU law and regulations which do not suit us.

    Problem is we do not have a good record of removing poor regulations or law.

    Remember the bonfire of quango’s promise. !

  14. Know-dice
    March 23, 2017

    Where fishing quota licences have been sold, a method of getting them back may be with transitional arrangements.

    But, certainly for the future, quotas should either be used by UK fishermen or returned to the Government.

  15. Mike Stallard
    March 23, 2017

    If the government does not listen to M. Barnier, we are stuffed. First of all he says that “ineluctably” Britain will become a “third country” when it leaves the EEA. Second there are data protections in force in Europe which mean that we will be struck off all European computers unless we stay in the EEA. Third his top priority is that we leave after “settling our accounts”. M. Juncker has opened the bidding with £50 billion. Unless we do this, we will become a “third country” on March 29th 2019.
    I am, as you know, a Brexiteer who supported Brexit. I am not Remoaning.
    All we have to do is honour the Wilson Referendum when we voted firmly to stay in the Common Market. That is what most British people want. If politicians wreck the economy, then God help them – and us!

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 23, 2017

      Mike, the UK will become a “third country” when it leaves the EU.

      As I pointed out on a recent thread, with proof from the EU website, Norway is classed as a “third country” by the EU despite being in the EEA via EFTA, as are all the other EFTA member states, just as much as Switzerland which is in EFTA but outside the EEA; for example here:

      If your mentor was in the habit of allowing constructive criticism on his blog, rather than systematically blocking commenters who persist in disagreeing with him, then by now he probably would not be writing:

      “No matter what option we take up – apart from Efta/EEA – we assume “third country” status. This is not a value judgement, it is an ineluctable consequence of our leaving the Single Market.”

      No, it is an ineluctable consequence of leaving the EU, EEA or no EEA.

      There are a couple of other interesting comments on that blog today, about Barnier’s insistence that we must talk money, and agree to pay whatever is demanded, before we even start to talk about trade.

      Firstly, from an appeaser who ignores what Kipling wrote about Danegeld:

      “We should pay up and be done with it.”

      Secondly, from somebody who is in danger of straying into heresy:

      “Of course all the money problems would have arisen now anyway if we were to stay in the EFTA EEA setup as the EFTA EEA states have no financial links to the EU budget or any loans or guarantees or liabilities to the EU.

      So whether we stayed in or left the Single Market is irrelevant for this purpose.”

      I look forward to reading your replies to these points, Mike, rather having you fly over to dump the latest batch of bombs (on this sortie mainly duds, as it happens) and then shooting off to avoid any ground fire.

    2. Mark B
      March 23, 2017


      At the end of the day, it will all come out in the wash 😉

      My personal view is, that the UK Government will leave the EU, and then opt-in on most of that which we left for in the first place – minus the Euro of course.

  16. Bert Young
    March 23, 2017

    I would call it the ” Great Opportunity Bill “. Fishing of course is a stand out item and , as soon as we can , we must impose restrictions to protect and favour our fishing industry . The same is true in many areas of manufacturing and services ; the developing world is crying out for innovation , cost reduction , design development and the internationalisation of trade . Once rid of strangleholding conditions , we will be free to pick and choose as we wish .

    The future is much brighter now ; free to make our own choices again is a wonderful state to be in .

  17. NA
    March 23, 2017

    Over fishing Cod will put up the price of my fish and chips each Friday, I hope the regulator remembers that. Lets keep the seas clean from nuclear waste.

  18. Antisthenes
    March 23, 2017

    The idea of a repeal bill does not fill me with confidence as politicians are very quick to enact legislation but are loath to repeal or replace any. Even when they do it is at a snails pace. I suspect we will have to live with it anyway. Our fisheries are an important area where we should take back total control but it is not alone there are a myriad of others. The repeal bill will need hacking to pieces sooner rather than later. We will be unravelling 40 years of bureaucratic interference and the red tape they love so much.

    Unravelling EU fisheries policy highlights another area where Brussels will try and exact revenge and milk our coffers. Already the threat is they require 50 billion and will take us to court over it if necessary. A demand they will seek to expand at every opportunity. We are in for a rough ride as all too often it is not reason, fairness or exactitude of the case that wins the day but who is the most belligerent, difficult and obstructive. Brussels is all that and more. Walking away may be the only recourse but Brussels will ensure that is not the end of the argument. Alternatively and most likely we will compromise and end up with some form of EU lite.

    1. Peter D Gardner
      March 24, 2017

      Much of it’s huff and puff. We do rely on having a strong negotiating team. That is all that is required to see off these demands, for they have no basis in law. UK should be prepare for ‘No Deal”. If it doesn’t it cannot really understand how strong its position is.

  19. Anonymous
    March 23, 2017

    Of course, we’ll need a navy to police our fishing grounds. Such a pity that – when we were trying and failing to westernise Arabia – we didn’t take our own territories seriously and allowed the Royal Navy to whither.

  20. a-tracy
    March 23, 2017

    What transitional arrangements were there for UK fishing interests when we joined the EU? How long did the fishermen get to put their businesses and affairs in order?

    1. David13
      March 23, 2017

      Yes, the EUSSR put many of our fishermen out of business. Therefore, any non-UK fishing licences/quotas bought “in good faith” should be refunded by the EUSSR.

    2. Lawrence Hartley
      March 23, 2017

      Good point……we should give EU Countries the same transition period as our Fishery Industry received !

    3. Denis Cooper
      March 23, 2017

      From reading this:

      it seems to have been one transition after another since 1973. However:

      “What Heath secured under the accession negotiations was a ten-year transitional derogation (an exemption from equal access) from Article 2 of Regulation 2140/70, giving our fishermen exclusive fishing rights inside the six-mile limit and partial control of the six to twelve mile limit. At the end of the ten-year period, however, the derogation would terminate and unless a further derogation was agreed, the “equal access” default of Article 2 would kick in. Renewal then of any derogation required unanimity, so it only takes one Member State to say “no” and that is that … ”

      We could just say that once we have left the EU no foreigners would be allowed to fish within our 200 mile limit EEZ, with immediate effect. Or we could extend an olive branch by saying that we fully understand that foreign fishermen have made investments on the assumption that they would be able to plunder our waters in perpetuity, and we are prepared to talk about it with them.

  21. Chris
    March 23, 2017

    “Fishing for Leave” has a good website, and they are promoting a petition to regain our coastal waters, as they fear, apparently, that there will be pressure on Government to sell them short.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 23, 2017


      “Waiting for 21 days for a government response”

  22. A.Sedgwick
    March 23, 2017

    The giving away of our fishing rights was a denial of our maritime history and an early decision should be made on the way forward basically reclaiming full control. Once we leave the EU no country has any claim on our territorial waters. Another plus should be the building of many coastal protection vessels in UK shipyards.

    On a broader front the ending of the EU association should be the start of a revolution how we administer our country.

    Unfairness, antiquity, ignorance of common sense and the blindingly obvious abounds.

    I will not go off topic at length but I suggest you might like to address such areas over coming months. They range from the simple to the complex and difficult e.g. I have felt for years all police officers should be armed.

  23. oldtimer
    March 23, 2017

    There should be a transitional period before any new arrangements come into force. I know nothing about the economics of commercial fishing. That said my suggestion is a maximum transition period of five years from the date of serving Article 50 should be sufficient, with phased reductions in current entitlements starting after two years. That should provide time for the fishing industry to make arrangements to create or reduce capacity as appropriate.

    My recollection is that the UK fishing industry was subjected to some brutal (and sacrificial) reductions in capacity after the UK joined the EU.

    1. BOF
      March 23, 2017

      oldtimer, I would agree on this point and would add that the UK should immediately draw up it’s own fishing policy to apply to all foreign vessels. Perhaps as quota to foreign fleets comes up, this should be offered first to UK interests.

      I am however not encouraged by the noises coming from government and also the fact that bad law and unwanted law is almost never repealed.

  24. Mockbeggar
    March 23, 2017

    As I understand it, many UK fishermen sold their quotas to large Spanish fishing fleets when the Common Fisheries Policy was implemented. I’ve no idea what the terms of sale were. Is it for all time unless re-sold, like freehold property?

    There have been rumours that the Spanish fishermen are not too fussy about the COP fishing rules.

  25. Kenneth
    March 23, 2017

    I believe it is right and proper to allow foreign fishing companies to have, say 3 years notice of the re-establishment of our exclusive fishing boundaries.

    I believe this should be a marker for the spirit of our negotiation approach.

    Constructive, practical, friendly and firm.

  26. lojolondon
    March 23, 2017

    My gut feeling is that no-one should have any rights except British fishing industry, for companies wholly owned and operated and landing catches and paying tax in the UK. But maybe there is a potential for allowing a tail-off of fishing by EU companies, as the decimated UK industry gets itself back up to full strength over a couple of years?

  27. Robin Wilcox
    March 23, 2017

    I’d be interested to know who they bought the rights from. If the money was paid to the EU and kept by the EU then it’s for the EU to make good on it.
    That could mean the EU being responsible for the refund or indeed buying the rights from the UK so that they can continue until the end of the contract.

    1. Martin Conboy
      March 23, 2017

      Agree 100%. If those rights were bought from the EU – which the were – then these commercial fishing interests need to go and ask for their money back.
      The EU (or EEC as then was) rushed through the legislation to declare fisheries a “common economic resource” in the weeks immediately preceding Britain joining in 1973, but Ted Heath was so desperate to get Britain into the EEC he was prepared to sign up to any old wretched conditions.

  28. James Neill
    March 23, 2017

    As far as I know our territorial limits prior to 1973 extended to 3 miles from the shore line whereas the fishing limits extended to 12 miles from a baseline around our coast, ie a baseline drawn from headland to headland. The 200 mile limit which included for fishing mining etc came into being for the whole of the EU only afterwards- if you were fishing any further out it would be just classed as deep sea with no regulation except individual countries self regulation- so I don’t know how this whole thing is going to be worked out. As far as I know our territorial limits which has nothing to do with fishing still extends to three miles from the shore- but I could be wrong.

    Talk of retaliation against any of the remaining EU countries is premature and could prove to be counter productive, for instance- what if we decide to send home Spanish nationals residing in the UK because of a fishing argument or some other spat over Gibraltar- how do you imagine we could cope then with over one million British retirees being expelled from Spain? The Spaniards being expelled from UK would be young productive workers in their prime while the British retirees would be a different proposition. D’ye get my drift?

  29. l'Esprit
    March 23, 2017

    The first principle is to establish the territorial water boundaries owned by the United Kingdom. These should be, as Iceland did in the so-called “Cod War” of 1965 (I think), what the United Kingdom thinks it should be. Our fishing grounds are as central to British ownerships as French and Spanish farmlands are to those countries.

    Secondly, the United Kingdom should establish a Central Fish Market where all fish, whether landed by British or foreign fleets in British waters, must be landed and put up for sale. There should be no further licence for a Dutch or Spanish ship fishing legitimately in British waters, to land the fish anywhere other than in a British market.

    Our British fishing waters are as central to the British national asset register as they have been for hundreds even thousands of years, except for the travesty of their alienation during the Common Market years.

    Thirdly, I fully endorse Dr Redwood’s points on fish stock management.

    Under this sort of regime, the sustainability, availability and affordability for British consumers will be hugely improved. It will also become a major factor in our nation’s return to eating well especially in the fight against obesity.

  30. Chris
    March 23, 2017

    I believe we should fully reclaim our waters, and that there should be a short transition period. A long period would lead to abuse, overfishing, and the demise of many of our surviving fishermen. It would be valuable to actually have the views of someone on the front line with regard to the length of the transition period.

  31. Peter D Gardner
    March 23, 2017

    There is a lot in the UNCLOS about continuity of existing rights. UK will not be able simply to chuck out EU fishers. I will look and post again later.

  32. Chris
    March 23, 2017

    Fishing for Leave on a Future for British Fishing:

  33. Denis Cooper
    March 23, 2017

    I know very little about fishing and so I am not qualified to say how our EEZ waters would best be managed, beyond the obvious fact that the management should only involve those countries with a genuine interest to defend and promote and not continental countries with no opposing coast, or in some cases any sea coast at all. In other words, they and the EU should butt out and leave it to us and those with whom we share maritime borders to agree the best arrangements that can be negotiated between the various sovereign states.

    I’m inclined to believe that Norway would prove to be reliable and sensible partner even if some other countries are more likely to be awkward for the sake of it.

    However I think we have to consider the UK internal factors as well. On Tuesday I was watching a debate in the Scottish Parliament and an SNP member repeated the brazen lie that the wicked Tory government wanted to take powers back to London, despite there having been a categorical assurance from the UK government that no devolved power presently enjoyed by the Scottish authorities will be removed post-Brexit.

    I think there will have to be a discussion about how powers retrieved from Brussels, for example over fishing, would be most effectively and profitably distributed across the various UK authorities. I’m not convinced that giving the Scottish authorities complete control over fishing in the waters designated as “Scottish” would be the best practical answer, even though obviously that is what they want.

  34. Peter D Gardner
    March 23, 2017

    The CFP should most certainly not be instituted into British Law. There are quite a few other areas of EU law that should also be excepted by the Great Repeal Bill. They are not difficult to identify and I am very surprised Mrs May has not said so clearly. I hope she will.
    Back to the UNCLOS and to answer John Redwood’s question. First of all UK has sole responsibility for the management of the resources in its EEZ, including determining allowable catches and other states are obliged to comply with the regulations set by UK. No question. But UK will also have a responsibility to agree with adjacent states regimes for management of fish stock of species that occur in both UK and adjacent zones. (Article 63).
    UNCLOS also confers rights on other states to access UK’s EEZ, even land-locked and geographically disadvantaged states in the region (Art 69, 70).
    UNCLOS also obliges UK to cooperate on research and other activities and makes UK solely responsible for prevention of pollution.
    There is more, but this needs to be short.
    Restoration of sovereignty is not just a matter of regaining UK’s rights but also of accepting and discharging some rather onerous responsibilities. I would guess this latter will require UK to acquire monitoring and enforcement capabilities it does not have and to extend its marine research somewhat. Worth doing though.
    It will certainly need time to implement the change but UNCLOS is unambiguous that the responsibility shifts to UK on the day of Brexit. In that latter sense there cannot legally be a transition of responsibility from the EU to UK. So whatever transition is adopted for implementation UK must lead, not the EU. I hope Mrs May has already started planning and allocating resources.

  35. DaveM
    March 23, 2017

    Good morning.

    Apart from the fact that control of territorial waters is crucial if we are to be considered a full sovereign state (both in terms of security and fishing control), it may be worth you remembering that the Conservative majority is very small. Have a look at how many South West constituencies “turned blue” in 2015 – I live in the SW and I would bet everything I own that any sell-out regarding fishing rights will result in the Con party losing all those seats at the next GE.

  36. Angling a deal
    March 23, 2017

    The SNP in that it represents Scotland has decided that someone other than themselves should have its right to control fishing and agriculture. So, Scotland should not have those rights returned by the greater UK until the SNP is double-dug out of electoral and primitive instinctual Pictish history and local /regional politics.

    The Fishing ( in practical terms ) will take time to work out anyway.Our fleets are not equipped and manned or womanned to take up the challenge in a mere few years. But there is no reason the Right to our fish stocks and waters should not be returned immediately with a transitional period which can be extended. We have no wish to make redundant or bankrupt European and Nordic fishermen and owners. Our trawlermen could even sail on their ships and vice-versa, landing fish under a mutually beneficial contract. That should be the compromise we look for enabling perhaps other and different less favourable acceptances on their side..

  37. Peter Davies
    March 23, 2017

    As with many other things I think the UK should take responsibility immediately but there needs to be a period of transition in terms of who has access.

    Not forgetting we need fisheries protection vessels to support whatever policy is implemented.

    I hope the government doesn’t sell them short after all the damage cfp has done

  38. Keith Duffin
    March 23, 2017

    All fish caught in our waters should be landed in British ports. It is the only way that control can be exercised.

  39. Denis Cooper
    March 23, 2017

    Off-topic, reading these two articles:

    “EU’s goal in Brexit talks: divorce first”

    “Forget Article 50, here’s Article 218”

    I’ve concluded that logically no country can ever make an orderly withdrawal from the EU, and the only option for leaving under the withdrawal clause Article 50 is to wait for the two years to elapse and then make a disorderly withdrawal without any agreement.

    In which case, why bother with Article 50 and the two years, why not just abrogate the treaties and unleash legal chaos sooner rather than later, get it over with?

    How do I come to that conclusion? Because EU lawyers are attempting to argue that the EU cannot negotiate anything like a trade agreement with a withdrawing state until it has actually withdrawn and become a “third country” so that there can be negotiations under Article 218 TFEU; but the same thing must apply to any agreement whatever including a withdrawal agreement laying down the vast sums it must pay before it leaves, that can only be negotiated and concluded after it has already left.

    ” … the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal … That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union …”

    Which Article 218 procedure can supposedly only apply to the State after it has actually left and become a “third country”, or the ECJ will want to know the reason why … so having gone out of their way to create a classic “Catch-22” situation EU lawyers will leave us with no choice but the disorderly withdrawal they say they wish to avoid.

  40. Lindsay McDougall
    March 23, 2017

    We can grant transitional arrangements, on a decreasing basis, to Spanish fishermen, giving them the opportunity to sell out to British fishermen. But we must leave nobody in any doubt that we will enforce our rights, using the Royal Navy if need be.

  41. murray geddes
    March 23, 2017

    the prangwizard May we be allowed to build boats
    in NI, Scotland and Wales too?

    1. The Prangwizard
      March 24, 2017

      I was meaning we should not buy outside the UK but I am not much of a Unionist and don’t think of it as ‘precious’ as others do, so England is my priority. I don’t feel under any obligation to defend the Union. It hasn’t shown much more than token respect for English identity in recent times.

  42. Helen Smith
    March 23, 2017

    100% right. On leaving the EU all our our waters given over to the EU return to us.

    A system such as you outline, or the ‘days at sea’ one proposed by Fishing for Leave would work well.

    At the moment our fishing fleet, and ancillary shore based capability, is a shadow of its former self and will take years to rebuild. In the interim we should allow EU fishing vessels into our water for a limited period, say 5-10 years, and for a consideration, £50bn comes to mind.

  43. Denis Cooper
    March 23, 2017

    “Dear Donald

    As you know I was intending to send you an Article 50 TEU notification next week.

    Unfortunately I have now been informed that Article 50 TEU does not provide a clear legal basis for the UK to make an orderly withdrawal from the Union. This is because its text mandates the use of the negotiation procedure laid down in Article 218 TFEU, which it has now been noted only applies to the negotiation of agreements between the Union and third countries or international organisations, and so will be inapplicable until the UK has already left the Union and become a third country.

    I have made clear that while the UK is still a member of the Union we will scrupulously comply with Union law, including judgments of the Court of Justice, and so I cannot possibly authorise UK ministers and officials to take part in withdrawal negotiations which could later be held to be unlawful under the treaties.

    As I mentioned previously when we met my preference was to make use of the Article 50 provisions to make an orderly withdrawal from the Union, but without prejudice to the UK’s unilateral right of withdrawal under wider international law.

    Therefore I deeply regret that the legal analysis provided by Union lawyers has effectively closed off that preferred Article 50 route, and I am compelled to hereby abrogate the Union treaties and laws with immediate effect.

    However of course now that the UK has left the Union it has become legally possible for the Union to negotiate new agreements with the UK as a third country, and I look forward to hearing from you with regard to that prospect.

    Yours with best wishes


  44. forthurst
    March 23, 2017

    Quite apart from the attrition of our fishing fleet because the owners could no longer operate profitably due to the paucity of available fish allocated under the CAP and the overfishing by foreign trawlers, it should be remembered that under the CAP of which the UK is the second highest funder, foreign trawlermen from Spain and elsewhere have received massive grants to purchase new trawlers at the same time that our fishermen were in receipt of grants to scrap their vessels. So not only are dems our fish, but dems our trawlers. Having seized back our ancestral fishing grounds, we must enable our trawlermen to purchase Spanish and other boats which will become surplus to requirements.

    The whole CAP regulation, zoning, conservation etc should be scrapped with the government objective being to build up the British trawler fleet as rapidly as possible together with the recovery of waters which have been overfished. In general our fishermen should be allowed to catch what they like provided they use the appropriate net mesh. It is important that the government prevents the civil service using existing regulations for a continuity of meddling once we leave the EU. Foreign trawlermen should be blocked from operating from British ports whether or not they have acquired a British trawler and quota.

    Furthermore, the Germans are planning to build huge windfarms over the Dogger Bank in our waters; this must be stoppped. The Dogger Bank is for fishing and what they are planning will be a hazard to shipping in an area where poor visibility is commonplace: President Trump is defunding the Energy Dept’s Climate division and so should we. Not only should we leave the EU but we should block all Globalists’ subterfuges including the Global Warming Hoax.

  45. rose
    March 23, 2017

    I think we should take back control of our fishing grounds straight away afer exiting. The continentals will have two years notice after all: why any transition period?

    I heard George Eustice suggesting we should barter with the EU, giving some access so we could have access to theirs. But why should we a) barter with the EU as if it owned them and b) need access to other people’s fishing grounds when we have our own? I think the EU should be left out of it altogether, just as it should not play any part in our taking back our independence. Independence and fishing grounds are not negotiable. If we want to come to some arrangement with a proper country at some time in the future, that is another matter.

    1. rose
      March 23, 2017

      Obviously we will need our navy back too.

  46. Mark Chaloner
    March 23, 2017

    And what about the London Convention 1964 John? There has been no mention of this and we’re now only 6 days away from invoking Article 50. What have you heard about this and what is happening?

  47. agricola
    March 23, 2017

    All you say on fishing makes sense. By all means have a five year transitional arrangement with EU businesses that have bought into UK quotas. Do not forget the Channel Island fishermen who have complex arrangements with their French neighbours. Understand that UK citizens do not eat very much fish and even then of only limited varieties. It could therefore be the birth of a bigger export industry because our near neighbours and the Spanish do eat a lot of fish and shellfish. I have to be in Spain to buy Morecombe Bay clams. Expand our fisheries protection fleet considerably, we will need it. You should be able to buy all that is necessary at £5 Million a ship. What an excellent command training facility for the Royal Navy.

    March 23, 2017

    No mention has been made of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission which has something to say on fishing controls. Currently the EU takes a single seat on it. Will UK apply to the Commission for a seat?

  49. Chris
    March 24, 2017

    In the hope that some readers may pick up on this, albeit a bit late in my commenting, here is an excerpt from Brexit Central daily newsletter on the fishing industry:

    “Today on the site Alan Hastings, one of the founders of Fishing for Leave, writes that if the Great Repeal Bill enshrines the Common Fisheries Policy into UK law then the EU will be able to argue convincingly in court that the UK is still bound to honour its commitments. This will mean all EU vessels could still have full access to our waters after Brexit and Britain could remain part of the destructive CFP.

    He knows what he’s talking about – Alan is out fishing right now and he sent the piece to us by satellite internet from the middle of the North Sea. It’s a fascinating and eye-opening read into what Brexit could mean for fishermen. It is vital reading for anyone following the Brexit process”.

    See following link:
    (Brexit Central team includes Matthew Elliott and Jonathan Isaby)

  50. Sandra
    March 24, 2017

    The UK government must denounce the 1964 London Convention immediately and give written assurances that the fisheries chapters of the Acquis Communautaire will not be adopted with the Great ‘Repeal’ Bill.

  51. Jerry
    March 25, 2017

    I assume that you want these “Regulators” to be on board each and every UK fishing vessel over a certain size, how else are you going to get the crew to “land their whole catch”, well they not just carry on selectively landing what they are permitted to, dumping their over catch as they already do. Of course you might see these regulators being more like toothless tigers, able to roar at the fisherman who lands an scientifically unsustainable catch but unable to bit and thus make the fisherman do what might be commercially difficult…

    Also, as the UK will be outside of the EU we might well wish to talk to other EU countries about fishing rights but the only jurisdiction we will have is our UN mandated waters, 12 miles if I recall. What do you propose is done about Russian factory ships and the like, how much greater notice will such countries take of those world bodies for fishing than they do currently?

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