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the issue of the CFP (Common Fisheries Policy) in the BreXit negotiations is one of the more complicated areas – well it is until you start to realise just howmany complicated areas there are!
I would contend that there is absolutely no doubt that with regard to the CFP Britain will be hugely better in terms of both the English fishing fleet/industry and Scottish fishermen once we have finalised BreXit. But it will be more complex than many think.
Fishing quotas have become a very complex issue, you may well remember when the Spanish fleet very nearly dragged Britain into a trade war with Canada as a result of their fishing on the Newfoundland Banks. The manner in which the Fleets of particularly Spain and France strip the fish on the west coast of Africa making it almost impossible for the local fisherment to feed their families does little to help!
The CFP is not only a complex issue it would also seem to represent some very dubious National interests! That alone, in my opinion, is a ver good reason for BreXit.
Beyond Brexit comment: Re-think is needed on catch quotas
By Griffin Carpenter
IT WAS no surprise the “Brexit flotilla” that led to the clash on the Thames between Ukip leader Nigel Farage and singer-activist Bob Geldof just before the Brexit vote was organised by a group of Scottish skippers.
After all, Scotland has eight per cent of Britain’s people but accounts for three-fifths of its fishing catch. Moreover, more than nine out of 10 Scottish fishers want to leave the EU.
Fishers take up this position, roughly, because they think the way they get access to waters and how quotas are divided is unfair. They feel and a view that decisions about fisheries are being made remotely without the interests of Scottish fishers at heart.
More broadly, they sense fisheries have been in decline over the period of EU management, a trend most visually obvious by the declining number of people and fishing vessels in harbours, and that fisheries are a forgotten industry.
An Aberdeen University survey reflected these sentiments, as not only did 92 per cent of fishers indicate that they would vote to leave, but 93 per cent indicated that they thought that leaving the EU would improve the industry’s fortunes. On fishing quotas, 77 per cent of respondents thought that the amount of fish they would be allowed to catch would increase outside of the EU (only one per cent thought they would decrease). Only a tiny number of fishers, however, thought leaving the EU would affect their ability to sell their fish in the EU.
Their views are clear. What is not clear, however, is whether leaving the EU will really address many of the underlying issues in fisheries. However, the first truism in fisheries is that there are only so many fish in the sea, and only so many that can be harvested sustainably. The UK taking a greater share of fish quotas by definition means that the rest of the EU must take less – something easier said than done.
The great worry here is that failure to agree on quota shares could lead to overfishing as both sides aim to increase their catch. This continues to be the case with many tumultuous fishing relationships involving non-EU countries like Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway .
Bluntly, there is still overfishing, including of cod, mackerel and haddock. Significant changes to Scottish fisheries are therefore limited by what these stocks can sustain – an important consideration in the shaping of post-Brexit fisheries.
The Common Fisheries Policy has provided a shared management system for decades. If it is ignored, there is a risk of returning to rampant overfishing as nations pursue their own self-interest to over-exploit common resources.
There is also the important issue of trade-offs in negotiations with the EU – between different sectors – but also within fisheries itself. A recent House of Lords report on Brexit and fisheries stressed there would likely be a trade-off between access to waters and access to markets, as was the case when Greenland left the EU, and continues to shape the EU’s current relationship with Norwegian fisheries. This likely trade-off also presents a worrying conflict with the expectation of more quota but no impact on trade.
Many of the economic trends are driving Scottish fisheries towards a concentrated high-capital, low-labour fleet will remain post-Brexit, just as fishing industries outside of the EU and other industries within the UK have experienced.
That is not to say, however, that this restructuring is inevitable. Innovative policy approaches, such as allocating quota to the fishing fleet based on social and environmental criteria so as to incentivise the creation of wider public benefits have not been fully pursued in the UK or abroad.
It is worth noting that several criticised aspects of fisheries management are already national competencies, such as how quotas are distributed by member states within their fleet. News reports about Dutch and Spanish vessels hoovering up UK quota are describing UK-flagged vessels sold to foreign owners under the rules of the UK’s own system for allocating quota.
It is a source of significant confusion, but issues of foreign ownership are a result of national management, as are complaints about the continued concentration of UK quota through market transactions. Regardless of the level of management post-Brexit, a radical rethink in participatory approaches and co-management is needed to create a system of fisheries management that is truly shared.
Griffin Carpenter, is a senior researcher at the New Economics Foundation based in London.Griffin Carpenter is a Senior Researcher at the New Economics Foundation and is based in London and Copenhagen.
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With an avg. 1.2M voters per MEP & Britain having only 8%, if united, say. The EUropean Parliament has no ability to make policy and has a Commission of unelected bureaucrats, thus clearly the EU is not even a pretence of being a democracy; yet The EU & many of its vassal States are willing to slaughter people in Sovereign States, to impose The EU’s chosen brand of democracy on them!
The imposition of a Government and policies upon its vassal regions such as the peoples of Greece shows just how far from being a democracy the EU is.
There will be little or no change in Britain’s economic position, when we leave the EU, using a better negotiated & updated version of the ‘Norway Model’ as a stepping stone to becoming a full member of the Eropean Economic Area, where all will benefit, as we secure trade relations with the EU’s vassal regions, with an EFTA style status and can trade and negotiate independently on the global stage, as members of The Commonwealth and the Anglosphere.
Do not overlook the fact that politicians have plotted and schemmed since the 1950s and we have actually been vassals of the EU, when it was still using the aesopian linguistics and calling itself The Common Market in the early 1970s, a name the bureaucrats arbitrarily changed to EUropean Union in the early 1990s as they worked towards their long term goals of an ever closer centrally controlled Political and economic Union with its own anthem, currency, flag and rigid central control by its self appointed bureacrats towards a new Empirate –
It will take many years to rectify the mess our political class got us into and we have no other peacefull means by which to extricate ourselves than to depend on that self same self styled elite, who all too often forget they work for us!One huge benefit of BreXit will be that we can negotiate with bodies like the WTO, UN, WHO, IMF, CODEX and the like, directly, in our own interest and that of our partners around the world, in both the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere at large; rather than having negotiations and terms imposed by unelected EU bureacrats and their interpretation of the rules handed down, as if they were some great achievement of the EU’s!The greatest change and benefit will be political, as we improve our democracy and self determination, with the ability to deselect and elect our own Government, with an improved Westminster structure, see >Harrogate Agenda<.
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