France slammed over fisheries policy hypocrisy Published: 11 April, 2005
A Scottish Euro MP has accused Michel Barnier, the French Foreign Minister, of hypocrisy following comments he made in Paris criticising Conservative plans to withdraw from the Common Fisheries Policy. Struan Stevenson, MEP, Conservative Fisheries Spokesman in the European Parliament and a former Chairman of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee said:
“Michel Barnier has rejected the Conservative Party’s plans to withdraw Britain from the Common Fisheries Policy and to restore national and local control over our fishing grounds. He argues that “One cannot accept unpicking or reworking the European policies that bind Europe.” Nevertheless only last week, Monsieur Barnier himself unpicked and reworked the Growth and Stability Pact at a Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels. This is a core Treaty obligation that not only binds Europe economically, but assures stability in the Eurozone. However, France found that it could not live within the tough economic restrictions imposed by the pact and in a typical Euro-fudge, demanded that it be watered down to suit their own political situation.
“It is the height of hypocrisy for the French Foreign Minister to say that it is OK for France to unpick and rework any treaty or pact that it dislikes, while denying the UK a similar right. The CFP has caused untold damage to Britain’s whitefish industry, destroying jobs and damaging fish stocks. Monsieur Barnier can rest assured that an incoming Conservative Government under Michael Howard will, as a first priority, pull Britain out of the CFP and ensure that British fishermen and key stakeholders in the industry regain control of fisheries out to the 200 mile limit around our shores.”
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