Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The non-negotiable CFP

We are very pleased to publish a letter from the indefatigable Honorary Chairman of FAL, Tom Hay, in which he once again attempts to explain that the common fisheries policy (CFP) is non-negotiable. The letter, we hope, will appear in the next issue of Fishing News.

It appears that Richard Benyon is determined to continue misleading British fishermen about CFP reform. His plausible statements in Fishing News 9th August 2013 on this very serious matter are extremely erroneous, in fact, spurious since they are deceiving our hard working fishermen into believing that a better future lies in store (how often have we heard that?) for them, if they submit to his optimistic overtures, that history would show that returning the seas to sustainable harvesting “as the really big win” of CFP reform. Fishermen will have certainty over the future of the stocks they fish, and depend on, he continues, but cunningly however, he doesn’t say British fishermen because, he really means EU fishermen.

This is why FAL is equally determined not to allow him to get away with this. What he is talking about reforming, and craftily calls it the CFP, is a temporary derogation from the general rule of equal conditions of access to fishery resources and non discrimination laid down in Article 40 clause 3 of the Treaty.

Never to my knowledge or belief has Richard Benyon or Richard Lochhead for that matter, ever stated publicly the appalling fact that the CFP is free access to waters on a non- discriminatory basis for all member states fleets, and that it is not negotiable.

Whatever these servants of the British people may tell our fishermen, they have no security whatsoever, and absolutely nothing can be done for their peace of mind, as long as we remain within this horrendous, anti-British Common Fisheries Policy.

Take a look at the East Coast of Scotland as an example of the enormous damage which has already been done. Every Port from the Borders to John o’ Groats, which used to be a bustling hive of activity, now lies indisputably desolate.

There is only one clear unobstructed way of escape. The fisheries agreement signed, by Treaty in 1972 must be revoked, and the shackles of this terrible Common Fisheries Policy thrown off, so that we can regain control of our potentially rich fishing grounds, which are rightly ours according to international law, yet so shamefully surrendered by the Edward Heath Government through unbelievable deceit.

Succeeding generations of the British people will hold us accountable for evermore if we allow a disaster of such tremendous enormity to befall our nation.

Thomas Hay

Honorary Chairman FAL


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