The Brexiter argument re: fisheries

I often hear the pro brexit community stating that following departure from the EU the UK will be able to take back control of fisheries.

I would love to have a sensible debate on the subject with some erudite input from both sides.

I would particularly like to hear from @Jess_Jephcott as we began this discussion on one of our Facebook groups earlier today.

I hope we can all learn something from this discussion, let’s keep it civil please.

My (superficial) understanding is that EU based boats take more fish from UK waters than the other way around - possibly because of historic quota sales. This is obviously something that UK boats grumble about despite the fact they sold the quotas in the first place. Once we are out of the EU the old agreements will be void and we can “take back control” of fishing rights in our territorial waters.

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However there is a catch (sorry) which is that we export most of the domestic catch (principally herring and shellfish) and import most of the fish which we consume. Thus although much of the Brexit flag weaving has been about taking back control by leaving the Common Fisheries Policy the actual effect on the fleet might not be all that good. Furthermore this is a predominantly Scottish problem as more than half the fleet is based out of Scottish ports.

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Hmm.

So you mean they want to have their (fish)cake and eat it?

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Time to get your coat Geof

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The Comman Fisheries policy wasn’t the only factor in the decline of the fishing industry. Prior to quotas coming in overfishing was a big problem anyway. The Cod War certainly didn’t help nor did rising fuel prices. A quick search will find that the majority of UK fishing quotas are held by a small number of businesses. Greenpeace reckon that two thirds of UK fishing quotas are held by just 25 businesses. (fullfact.org are very good for factual information about lots of things. Independent fact checking group) Fishing towns often voted leave in the belief that things would get better , those “pesky” Europeans would stop stealing “our” fish but many sold their quotas to foreign firms. Fishing quotas will need to remain after Brexit anyway to prevent overfishing.

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Yea - it was a bit like a joke, but without that vital humorous element…

There’s a brilliant comment under the Guardian article that Cat linked (it’s one of the ‘Guardian Pick’ comments) outlining these issues, and crucially pointing out that it will cost £billions to get back the quotas, that under international law (nothing to do with the EU) everything has to be negotiated with neighbouring states anyway, and that virtually nothing has so far been done about any of this.
The same commenter later in the thread outlines the disaster also facing Gibraltar…

There was a programme on TV a little while ago about Lowestoft. Used to have more than 100 boats. Now less than 10. And the European fishing industry (France, Belgium, Holland etc) are very worried by Brexit as they will be excluded from British waters. But everyone is so worried about no-deal. In fact this gives Britain a clean slate and I am sure that something will be worked out very quickly to satisfy both sides. No-deal is not for ever! On the other had Theresa May’s deal keeps Britain subject to the EU for many years. My fear is that Barnier and his cronies will make a few concessions at the last minute and the idiots in Parliament will accept it. - Including the £39 billion ransome.

There is no element of ransome - it is what we have already agreed to spend.

The fishing industry is now tiny economically for the UK the importance of it is less relevant than it once was.

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It doesn’t need to be forever to empty your supermarkets. It doesn’t need to be forever to knock your economy for six and trash your currency. It doesn’t need to be forever to lose the respect and trust of countries with which you previously had a close and fruitful relationship.
There is no ransom, do try to be grown-up about it.

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