Why I'm Voting Leave
Sheryll Murray, MP for South East Cornwall and chair of the fisheries All-Party Parliamentary Group, explains why fishing has in part made her decision to vote Leave in the EU-referendum.
I was disappointed, but not surprised by the outcome of the Prime Minister's EU negotiations earlier this year. I applaud David Cameron for trying, but am not surprised that he did not achieve the sort of deal that would protect the UK for the future.
I said in Parliament at the time of the negotiations that this was a unique opportunity to finally put fishing at the heart of discussions. The Prime Minister could have rectified the dreadful mistakes of the past and restored national control over the UK 200 mile median line limit so we could operate freely just like our neighbours in Iceland and Norway.
Unfortunately, fishing was not even on the table even although it was a Conservative Party Manifesto commitment in 2005 to leave the Common Fisheries Policy. I have long said that if David Cameron did not secure at least something for the Fishermen I would vote out.
Access to the 12 mile limit predates Membership of the European Union. It dates back to the London Convention of 1969 and it seems from the wording of the agreement that the intention was to provide access to the 12 mile limit for those vessels that had traditionally fished there. I doubt those vessels are now operational some 50 years later. There is a case to be made to exclusivity for UK vessels within our 12 mile limit.
Owen Paterson MP published a green paper in January 2005. This superb document forms a sound start for fisheries management outside of the EU and can be found here.
I believe that we should involve Fishermen and/or representatives in drawing up final plans.
I am definitely going to Vote Leave. I believe it is important that we stop paying many millions every day to prop up Europe and that we now make that break to be able to run our own country and most importantly we honour those fishermen who have been so badly let down by the EU.