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Stay in the EU, or leave? What difference does it make? Not a great deal you might think. I’m sure it won’t make much difference to my life, but as someone with an overarching interest in self government, there’s simply no way that I would vote to have some far off bureaucrat making decisions about the UK.

But since we’re here and talking about it, I’m out. What’s the main reason I want to leave the EU? Of all things, it’s fishing. Fishing is an industry which sustains the people, like farming it builds economy, it builds communities, and it feeds the people. Fit is food, provided by the ocean and it is an asset that we British have in abundance, at least we had it, until we gave it away to Europe. The Common Fishing Policy, or CFP put paid to our primary industry, and left communities in Britain desolate and on the verge of bankruptcy. That’s right, I want us to get back our fishing waters and revive the British fishing industry and reinvigorate the UK’s coastline.

We once had a thriving fishing industry in Britain, then along came the EU and the common fishing policy, and the UK fishing industry has been in decline every since. The CPF gives large chunks of the UK’s fine fishing waters to countries other than the UK. For example 23% of the English quota is owned by one giant dutch trawler, the Cornelis Vrolijk, registered in the UK fleet, but it actually lands its catch in Holland. To put this into perspective the entire small inshore fishing fleet for the whole England is given 4% of the quota.

I’m not screaming illegality. I’m sure that is all above board, so to speak. I just feel that UK fishing waters, once patrolled by the British navy, should be for the UK to fish, not for other EU member countries to take their share of.

It’s a bit like saying that France or Spain have more land than the UK, so we should be allowed to go over to France and harvest things growing on that land. Of course, such a notion seems preposterous. So why is the sea any different? Before it was signed away by politicians desperate to enter the single market in 1972, Britain controlled 70% of the access to fishing waters in Western Europe. That’s a lot of fish, and a lot of industry. So what happened? It was given away and those coastal communities which once relied on fishing as an industry started to go into decline. Seems strange to give over your natural resources to others.

That behemoth trawler mentioned earlier is the sort of boat that survives in the corporate world of the EU fishing business. Fishing is a big business like any other, when Bruxelles gets involved. 370ft trawlers which land hundreds of tonnes of fish a year will put much smaller community boats out of business, even though the smaller boats are the sustainable ones. Does Bruxelles care? I doubt it. IT is all about rules, regulations and bureaucracy. It has very little to do with community, sustainability and god forbid Britain.


Not Fishing

Of course there are many more ways that the EU damages the UK economy, but for some reason the CFP seems to be symptomatic of the worse kind of nonsense which comes out of Bruxelles. The sooner we give the EU the boot, the sooner we get back our country, our power and our waters. We can spend the money that previously went to pay for EU bureaucrats’ pointless activities to reinvigorate the British navy, to protect our fishing waters.

If you want to read about the EU situation, and where Britain sits in it, I can recommend The Trouble with Europe by Roger Bootle.

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