GRIMSBY MP Melanie Onn has called on Theresa May’s new government to stick to its word and make fisheries a priority in negotiations with the EU.
She said she intends to ensure Britain gets back control of its 200-mile limits, which she believes can help Grimsby rebuild its fishing industry.
In a letter to the new Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom MP, and David Davis, the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Onn asked them to honour the promises that they made during the European referendum campaign.
She cited Davis’ comment that ‘from the quota system to conservation…if we leave the EU, we can help our industry recover, perhaps taking our cue from Iceland’, as well as the claim made by George Eustice, Fisheries Minister, that outside the EU Britain could ‘re-establish national control for 200 nautical miles’ of our waters.
Onn said: ‘David Davis and other Leave campaigners came to Grimsby before the referendum and told us that we would see our fishing industry recover if we left the EU.
‘Now that Britain has voted to leave the EU, he is in the position to deliver on that promise. I would love to see thousands of jobs return to Grimsby’s fishing industry, but I am yet to be convinced that is going to happen.
‘However, that is the promise Mr Davis and his fellow Leave campaigners made to people in Grimsby, and I won’t let him forget that promise.’
Part of her letter to Davis says: ‘As a leading light in the Vote Leave campaign you will be aware of the hope instilled in many communities, including mine of Great Grimsby, that Brexit would result in complete freedom for our fishing industries. Perhaps you saw the Humber flotilla on television.
‘The campaign claimed that without the ‘red tape’ of EU quotas and fishing waters limits, there would be a reclamation of Britain’s fishing industry.
‘The Common Fisheries Policy was blamed for the demise of a once exciting industry that was at the heart of coastal communities.
‘Therefore, I am writing to ask that you ensure that the future of the UK’s fishing industry is put at the top of your agenda. People in Grimsby now expect a return of the hundreds of fishing trawlers (and jobs) that we used to have at our industrial peak.’