Sunday, 4 October 2015

The debates are taking off

Brexit debates and discussions are taking off and it is hard to find the time to go to all the meetings, seminars and conferences, particularly as many of the arguments on both sides tend to be repetitions (over and over again) of those we have all heard and used ourselves in the last couple of decades at the very least.

Still, it is good to know that other people are joining in, occasionally even raising the subject of fisheries, which we think is not an enormously important topic but one that could appeal to many sections of the electorate.

Yesterday was the day of the City and Brexit, organized jointly by Business for Britain, who think Britain will do just fine outside the European Union and Business for the New Europe, who think we should stay in, mostly on the principle of holding on to nurse, for fear of something worse.

The general conclusion of the two longish sessions was that the City would survive outside the EU just as it has survived and flourished outside the euro and through a number of difficulties. The City might well do all right within the EU - has done so far - but the constant attempts to undermine it by ever more regulations that fly in the face of all economic thinking remains a danger.

What of other matters? Business for Britain has published a long document (and a short summary of it), called Change or Go in which it outlined a number of ideas about the changes we need to see in the EU; otherwise we should leave and that would not be a disaster. Far from it.

As it happens, those few at the conference, who spoke in favour of staying in and "working for change from inside" did not sound too convinced that it would work. Others said very firmly that we must wait and see what the Prime Minister comes back with but held out no great hopes. Several speakers maintained that the EU was not capable of the sort of change that was required in the twenty-first century and that, more or less is what this blog thinks about the common fisheries policy to which this country is tied while we stay in the European Union.

Going back to the Change or Go document we can see that the section that deals with the various possibilities of what might happen if Britain did decide to go includes a discussion on fisheries. The discussion is too long to quote in a mere blog but here are the main headings:

14.1 The UK would remain a member of all key international fishing bodies

14.2 The UK could continue to cooperate with the EU on fishing

14.3 New fishing policy opportunities would become available

For the time being we shall leave it at that, though our readers will, no doubt, be interested in reading the details. In future postings we shall look at those details.