Friday, 25 January 2013

The official FAL response

Here is the official response by FAL to David Cameron's speech and oddly enough it agrees with the previous posting with additional comments that are especially relevant to Scotland.

Comment by FAL on David Cameron’s Speech on the EU

Talk about a new settlement, a new relationship with Europe or more correctly with the EU is, not to put too fine a point on it, stuff and nonsense. The reason is the existence in EU law of the “acquis communautaire” - the entire body of EU laws, including all the Treaties, Regulations and Directives passed by the Institutions, as well as judgements laid down by the Court of Justice.

The “acquis” which is not negotiable is the major requirement that drives negotiations when new nations are applying for membership of the EU. The UK had to accept it when it became a member of the EEC in 1972. It had to embrace and enforce every vestige of the “acquis” before it became a member, because all previous members had agreed to obey and implement it in full. There are derogations but these are all time limited and have a date of expiry before they are agreed. They can be rolled over.

The “acquis” for fisheries is free access to waters on a non discriminatory basis for all member states fleets (access to resources being based on the principle of relative stability for regulated species, and unrestricted for non-regulated species). 

 Mr Cameron has said:

“And to those who say a new settlement can't be negotiated, I would say listen to the views of other parties in other European countries arguing for powers to flow back to European states. And look too at what we have achieved already....... Ending Britain's obligation to bail out eurozone members. Launching a process to return some existing justice and home affairs powers. And reforming fisheries policy. So we are starting to shape the reforms we need now. Some will not require treaty change.”

However not only is Britain not opting out of any common justice and home affairs policies, it is busy opting in wherever there had been an opt-out negotiated.

Furthermore there is no reform of the real EU fisheries policy which is stark and simple and is clearly defined in the acquis --Community fishing vessels shall have equal access to waters and resources in all Community waters outside 12 nautical miles from the baselines. 

Talk about reform is a con trick perpetuating the deceit which has led to our fishermen being integrated in to the establishment of a single EU fleet on the principle of non-discrimination.

After centuries of environmentally benign exploitation and husbanding of resources, Scotland’s fishing industry has been devastated by ideological intervention, mismanagement and overfishing by the European Union. The result has been the loss of 100,000 jobs and an annual loss of more than £1,500 million per year to Scotland’s economy. There should be complete withdrawal from this Brussels-controlled lunacy.

And as for Alex Salmond If he wins the Independence within the EU referendum in Scotland, it will be very interesting to see how he gets rid of the non negotiable acquis on fisheries.

Roddy McColl
For FAL Secretaries 
23 January 2013


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