Tuesday 22 March 2016

Dear Prime Minister

Over the last couple of weeks a favourite trope of the media, with regard to garnering opinion on 'Brexit' (I hope the originator of that term is earmarked for firing-squad after the election!*) has been to go North or North East and talk to fishermen from the ports of East Anglia, the Yorks coast, Hull/Humberside and the Tyne.

Some of them are very stupid, one wife stating on a flagship news programme she hoped we could get out [of Europe] but sort of stay in "...if you know what I mean? Can we do that? I don't know", possibly more shocking was that the [BBC] reporter went along with her, "I don't know either...can we, I don't think so?"

We've had one deep-sea trawler man winging about European boats (something they've been doing since before the war), another stating that Brussels' regulations were nothing but a problem. Some blaming the EU for the low fish stocks, others for the low-catch limits as if the two are entirely separate problems.
Very Fishy
The fact is without Brussels there would be no fish left in the North Sea by now, fishermen fish...that's what they do, and when the catch drops-off they take bigger boats, travel further, stay-out longer and/or use smaller nets. Without our membership of the EEC, Britain's fishermen would have fished the North Sea empty sometime in the early 1980's!

This is not to say that an independent - of Europe - Britain couldn't set its own limits, but it would be harder to police them, and neighbours would have different limits, different rules and different regulations.

For instance: at the moment there is a concern about electric-shock netting of bottom-feeders, with the Belgians earning some opprobrium (thoughts are with them today) for this new practice. The scientists are arguing with the data from the scant studies so far carried out; Outie-helping research stating it's cruel and damaging while the Innie-supporting results suggest it's a more eco-friendly way to fish.

The only way to sort out that conundrum is to allow the EU to do better large-sample research, using all the figures from all the fishing fleets, and then impose whatever conclusion/s it comes to on everyone, it’s the fair way to do it, and by applying it to all the fleets: will have the same long-term effects on Plaice as previous limits/moratoriums have had on the recovery of Cod stocks.

Brussels IS looking into this new fishing technique and while UKIP, the Tabloids and the Outies might pander to the baser beliefs of your average fish-wife...or even your average fish-wife on the telly!...by listening to their arguments and weighing them against the facts it becomes clear - we are better-off in!

Yours etc...

*When left-wing liberalism goes out of the window!


  1. BBC and Reporter..two words that don´t really fit together ;-)
    Maybe they had to go to to fishermen..they want to know exactly what a bottom feeding crawling crab can do.