Fishing deal will die on Brexit day

Hastings Observer letters
Hastings Observer letters

From: Derek J. Cole, Dyson Close, Newbury

When 20 years ago I briefed Simon Hughes before he met Paul Joy, I was astonished to learn from Johnny Swan that our fishermen will always be at the mercy of the EU as they buy 90 per cent of our fish. Their view of quotas will always win. Amber Rudd’s comments need clarifying.

The London Agreement we signed a decade before we joined the EU gave mutual entry with 5 other countries to the 12 Km inshore waters countries completely control at International Law.

At the meeting Paul and Simon discussed replacing it with joint management of the Channel by French and British fishermen.

I do not recall any thought of leaving it.

As far as wider deep sea fishing rights are concerned England is tightly strangled by the EU. Donegal at the very north of Ireland is in the Republic. The Scottish Government has already demanded that the open waters off the Hebrides and in the North sea are controlled by them after Brexit.

One of the 160 plus agreements the EU has made on our behalf is the right to fish in Norwegian waters. That will die on Brexit day.

I can now disclose as the then campaign manager for the Liberal Democrats that I made no use of the unpopular comment of that passionate European, Jacqui Lait that tight quotas were essential for future generations. We agreed she was right! Specifically our council candidate for old Hastings flatly refused to air the matter.

Former Navy chief Admiral West says the Cameron Government made huge cuts in the fishing control fleet, adding: ‘’We have very, very few vessels involved in this.”

He doubts if the decision could be enforced. It sounds expensive.