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SFF sets out red lines on CFP exit

Published by FiskerForum, 12-03-2018 · info@fiskerforum.dk

Statements by environment secretary Michael Gove and Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson and chancellor Philip Hammond on the need for the UK to leave the Common Fisheries Policy have been welcomed by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.

Michael Gove and Ruth Davidson issued a joint statement to that effect, while Philip Hammond commented in a TV interview that he looks forward to the UK becoming an independent coastal state.

‘The challenge now is to turn aspiration into action. The government must reject out of hand the EU’s stated intention to deny the UK control of its own seas,’ said SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong.

‘Fishermen have been forced to give away too much of the fish in our waters for too long – these days are over.’

He set out a series of industry red lines for negotiations concerning fisheries with the EU, commenting that allowing these to be crossed would be regarded by the industry as a betrayal on the scale of the decision by the Heath government in 1973 to sacrifice the fishing industry on entry to the EEC.

The SFF’s red line are, an immediate exit from the CFP, ensuring EU does not have the right to grant access and set fishing opportunity and management rules within UK waters during the implementation period, for the UK to become a fully-functioning Coastal State from day one, with a nine-month bridge to align with the international fisheries negotiations calendar, and for preparation for discussions in the appropriate international negotiations over access to UK waters, but on UK terms.

A further demand is for there to be no link to be made between access and trade, separating the issue of fishing access for EU vessels to UK waters and UK access to European markets.

‘There is no rationale for this, and existing agreements between the EU and Coastal States make no such link,’ Bertie Armstrong said.

Source: SFF

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