UKIP VICTORY: Government Says We Will Control Our Own Fishing Waters
The government has been forced to clarify that we will post-Brexit be in control of our own fishing waters. Replying to the petition launched by Mike Hookem MEP and UKIP Fisheries Spokesperson it stated;
As an independent Coastal State, we will regain our rights to manage our fisheries in accordance with our rights under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and have control of our Exclusive Economic Zone (out to 200 nautical miles or the median line with other states). The UK will be responsible for the management of natural marine resources in this area and will be able to control and manage access to UK waters including fisheries.
However, it goes on, in a manner, we have come to expect from this government when it comes to everything to do with Brexit, to muddy the waters and has yet to clarify the precise timescale for implementation of taking back control. It makes reference to the Fisheries Bill which does promise that it will enable the UK to control access to its waters and set UK fishing quotas once it has left the EU.
A question mark, for example, hangs over whether ‘when we have left the EU’ refers to when the process started by Article 50 ends in March 2019 or when the anticipated ‘transitional period’ ends. Also, there are serious questions to be answered about the material impact the “remaining technical elements of current EU fisheries law” which “will be incorporated into UK law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill”, will have upon the process of winning back control of our fishing waters.
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The government response says:
that the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill ensures that, so far as possible, the same rules and laws will apply on the day after exit as on the day before.
So, what does that mean for our fishing communities who have been decimated by the Common Fisheries Policy? They need answers. The best way to get them is to take this victory and carry on the fight as if the petition reaches 100,000 signatures a debate must be held in the House Of Commons – this would present us with an opportunity to lobby MPs to ask the questions that still need answering.
Currently, the petition is on 35,000 signatures. Add your name here and make sure the government is not let off the hook!