Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Politics

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Politics

Article excerpt

Byline: RONNIE CAMPBELL

AS many people will know, I voted Brexit for good oldfashioned socialist reasons because I believed - and still do - that unelected Brussels bureaucrats and their fat cat cronies should not overrule the wishes of a democratic Britain.

An added bonus is that the UK withdrawal from the European Union provides a golden opportunity to automatically repatriate one of the greatest renewable resources - fish.

Once Theresa May or her successor finally ditches Brussels, the UK can introduce a fit-for-purpose UK fisheries management policy that husbands this fantastic resource and its potential, and which benefits all fishermen and all communities.

The UK Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) includes some of the most productive and prime aquatic real estate in the world, with the majority of EU catches (59%) being taken from what will be UK waters.

Sadly, these resources were surrendered to the EU, as they were bartered away as "expendable" by then-Tory premier Edward Heath as a price for our country joining the EU.

Tragically, for the past 40 years, these resources, and control over them have been managed as part of the EU political project with disastrous environmental, economic and social consequences. The UK ceded control over our EEZ and its fisheries resources to the EU with the UK Treaty of Accession. This treaty accepted the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The CFP resulted in the UK waters and resources being opened to exploitation by every EU member state under the principle of 'equal access to a common resource'. All fisheries resources were shared out to all member states under an EU quota system and relative stability shares.

With every succeeding treaty and regulation the noose of the CFP has tightened around the UK industry.

The deprivation of our own resources, and degradation of the marine environment through mismanagement, has resulted in around, on average: 75% of fisheries resources in the waters around the UK being held by other EU member states; 59% of catches in UK waters, of the value in the region of around PS711 million annually, are by EU vessels; and 60% of the UK fleet has been scrapped. …

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