UKIP leader visits Hastings

UKIP leader and MEP Nigel Farage visiting Hastings fishermen.  Arthur Read discussing  limits imposed by the EU
UKIP leader and MEP Nigel Farage visiting Hastings fishermen. Arthur Read discussing limits imposed by the EU

AN outspoken critic of the EU paid a visit to 1066 Country, meeting with Hastings fishermen.

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), and Member of the European Parliament for South East England, discussed the unpopular quota system with fishermen last Thursday (August 30).

He was invited down to Hastings by Brett Mclean, chairman for the 1066 Country branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Mr Farage sits on the EU Fisheries Committee and has taken a keen interest in the Hastings fishing industry and the impact of the EU quota system on its small businesses.

Cllr John Hodges, who represents Old Hastings ward, met with Mr Farage and Mr McLean at The Stade to make the case for the Hastings fishing fleet.

They discussed the EU quota system, which does not give a fair percentage of catch to boats of less than 10 metres and encourages discarding of fish back into the water in order to stay within catch limits.

Mr Farage pledged to do all he could to make it clear the system was unfair and campaign to change it.

Last year the Observer took its campaign Fairer Deal for Fishermen to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to demand a larger share of the catch for boats under 10 metres.

It delivered more than 3,000 cut-out fish coupons signed by readers to 10 Downing Street.

In March Hastings MP Amber Rudd called for an independent review of the fishing quota system in a parliamentary debate on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). She branded it ‘friendless’.

Mr Farage later visited the Britannia Enterprise centre and was welcomed by Mark Swann, of Sussex Fireplace Restoration, and his colleagues.

The MEP signed the FSB’s campaign to champion real-life entrepreneurs last month.

Mr Farage went to the Jerwood Gallery on The Stade before pledging his support for the Hands off the Conquest campaign.

The future of Hastings Pier was also discussed and Mr Farage made his views clear that parking charges in the Old Town could be reduced to encourage more visitors to the area.

Mr Farage is returning to 1066 Country to support the Bexhill Sea Angling Festival, from September 15 to 23.