UK fishing groups unite on Brexit stand


FISHING industry groups from across the UK have united to ensure the government sticks to its word on Brexit.
This new body, which includes a broad cross section and strong Scottish representation, met in Manchester to agree the elements of the campaign. It said afterwards: ‘We intend to hold government to account on Brexit commitments.’
A spokesman for the group said: ‘The Prime Minister and her ministers have been very clear that when the UK leaves the EU, under international law, the UK will hold the legal status of an independent coastal state.
‘That means that following the transition period, the UK will no longer be subject to the Common Fisheries Policy and will be able to negotiate bilateral agreements with those countries with which it shares fish stocks.
‘Equally, the EU has made it clear that they will fight very hard, using a trade deal as leverage, to maintain the status quo on access to UK waters and quota shares.’
The statement added: ‘Against this background, fishing organisations across the whole of the UK are determined that fishing should not be sacrificed to other national priorities, as it was in 1973
‘We are also  determined to end the asymmetric and exploitative relationship through which EU vessels catch four times as much (in value terms) from UK waters as UK vessels catch in EU waters.
‘And we want to see unimpeded trade in all UK fisheries products as something that supports the economic models of businesses throughout the whole of the supply chain, within the UK but also the EU.’
The spokesman added: ‘The measure against which the government’s commitment and resolve will be judged, after the negotiations conclude in October, are these:
1. Whether the UK has both the legal status, and the freedom to act, as an independent coastal state;
2. Whether UK catching opportunities broadly reflect the fish and shellfish resources located within UK waters;
3. Whether we have a mutually beneficial trade regime with as few impediments as possible for all UK fishery products;
4. Whether there is scope to develop a domestic fisheries regime tailored to the contours of the UK fleet, based on sound scientific advice and principles of sustainability.’
The statement concluded: ‘In many respects, fishing is a litmus test for Brexit. People well beyond the confines of the fishing industry are aware of how badly our industry has been treated and will be looking closely at the final deal presented to parliament for a meaningful vote.
‘A betrayal would be heavily punished politically. For these reasons we will be campaigning in the coming months to reinforce the key message that there must be no repeat of 1973; no repeat of the sell-out that has denied us the benefits of an independent coastal state for 40 years.’
The statement is supported by the following organisations:
Aberdeen Fish Producers Organisation
Anglo-North Irish Fish Producers Organisation
Anglo-Scottish Fish Producers Organisation
Clyde Fishermen’s Association
Coastal Producers Organisation
Cornish Fish Producers Organisation
Eastern England Fish Producers Organisation
The Fish Producers Organisation
Fife Fish Producers Organisation
Interfish Producers Organisation
Isle of Man Fish Producers Organisation
Klondyke Fish Producers Organisation
Lowestoft Fish Producers Organisation
Lunar Fish Producers Organisation
National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations
New Under 10m Fishermen’s Association
North-East of Scotland Fishermen’s Organisation
Northern Producers Organisation
Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation
North Sea Fish Producers Organisation
North Atlantic Fish Producers Organisation
Orkney Fish Producers Organisation
Scottish Fishermen’s Federation
Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation
Shetland Fish Producers Organisation
South-West Fish Producers Organisation
Wales and West Coast Fish Producers Organisation
Welsh Fishermen’s Association
West of Scotland Fish Producers Organisation
Western Isles Fishermen’s Association


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