United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP): The Case for leaving the EU and the CFP

Posted on 21/04/16 by Ray Finch MEP

UKIP South East MEP & Fisheries Spokesman Ray Finch tells us why he believes Britain should leave the European Union.

We are not going to blame the Common Fisheries Policy for everything that has gone wrong for the UK's fishing industry since the 1970s. But we are going to state that it bares much of the blame. Nor are we going to say that leaving it will solve every problem. But we are suggesting that stuck in it, there is very little prospect of any improvement. And, of course, stay in the European Union and we are stuck with its policies. You should vote to leave the EU in order to have any hope of a better future.

In a booklet, we explain how the Common Fisheries Policy was put in place in 1972 at the last possible moment before the UK joined the then EEC to secure unlimited non-British access to our waters. The result was good for French and, later, Spanish fishing fleets in particular and bad for British Fishermen - who were 'sold down the river' by a Heath government desperate to secure EEC membership at almost any price.

Broadly little has changed since.

Waves of reform - introducing quotas, adding discards, ending discards, introducing a landing obligation, there have been many minor changes - has left in place the simple proposition that while enjoying between 70 and 80 per cent of the resource (seafood), the UK is permanently blocked from controlling effectively its own EEZ.

There is only one way to regain our waters... it is to leave the European Union.

We are not claiming that, thereafter there will not be international obligations and grandfather rights to take account of - of course there will because that is modern life.

But what we do promise is that if we vote to stay in the European Union, the UK will quite simply have lost its own waters forever - to the long-term detriment of everybody in and associated with the UK fishing industry.

For more information, please use the link above or contact dirk.crols@europarl.europa.eu

Sources: Business for Britain, Change, or go, 'Fisheries', (439-464), p. 454; Iain Murray & Rory Broomfield, The Institute of Economic Affairs, Cutting the Gordian knot: a road map for British exit from the European Union, 2014, p. 19.