Tag Archives: fishing

Observations of an expat: Brexit – a fishy tale

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The Brexit deadline came, went, came again and went again. Both sides look foolish. Which means that if nothing, else, both sides desperately want an agreement and neither side wants to be the one that walks away from the table.

Fish appear to be the biggest sticking point.  And the two countries at loggerheads are traditional foes Britain and France.

Economically speaking, neither country’s fishing industry makes much of a contribution to the respective GDPs, although the French industry is almost three times the size of the British. But they both have well-organised community-based political lobbies, backed up by history, tradition and an overwhelming sense of injustice.

Up until the 1950s Britain had the world’s largest fishing industry, and its dominant position stretched centuries into the past.  William Pitt the Elder called cod “British Gold” and Victorian Grimsby was the world’s biggest fishing port. Overfishing, the loss of the Icelandic waters, the extension of exclusive economic zones and finally, the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), reduced the industry from whale to sprat. There are now 24,000 people employed in the British fishing business compared to 65,000 in the French.

The CFP was – is – a bad deal for British fishermen. This is mainly because it was negotiated on the basis of historic fish catches in the 1970s when the industry was still based on a distant water fleet and the British waters were left to a large degree to French, Belgian and Dutch fishermen.

British fishermen don’t expect a return to the glory days but they want the lion’s share of fish in the resource-rich British waters. Of the roughly 6.4 million tonnes of fish caught in EU waters in 2018, 7000,000 came from UK waters. The French want to hang on to what they’ve got.

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18 July 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

There was a bit of a glitch yesterday, as the press releases ended up in my spam folder for some reason. Things seem to be back to normal, so the usual service resumes here…

  • Welsh Lib Dems – time to embrace zero-carbon housing
  • Lib Dems: EU resolution a vital step in UK’s duty to stand up for people of Hong Kong
  • Davey demands urgent action as knife crime epidemic continues to spread
  • Umunna: OBR report shows No Deal Brexit would be unforgivable
  • Lib Dems: Johnson’s ‘fishy tales’ have no plaice in Number Ten
  • Lib Dems: Milestone victory to block no-deal
  • Gauke talks the talk but can’t walk

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About Nigel Farage and the British fishing industry

You may have read, seen, giggled at reports of the Leave and Remain camps taking to the Thames today. Nigel Farage led a flotilla of “fishermen for leave” from Southend to the Houses of Parliament.

This is particularly interesting because, as Catherine Bearder points out, Nigel is spending more time showboating on the Thames than he has ever spent actually standing up for the British fishing industry at the European Parliament Fisheries Committee which it’s part of his job to be on.

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Fairtrade fortnight

Fairtrade fortnight is now drawing to a close and it has been a great couple of weeks of raising awareness of the brand across the UK to inspire more people to buy Fairtrade. The theme of the fortnight was ‘Go Further’ to encourage people to try new Fairtrade products. I know that many Borderers already buy Fairtrade coffee, tea and bananas, but there are now so many more products available that are definitely worth …

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Opinion: Rock Salmon and Chips anyone?

Fish and Chips

Before the rise in popularity of Indian curries, kebabs and Chinese take aways, battered fish and chips were considered the British national dish. Rock salmon was a staple – among the cheapest offerings in fish and chip shops around the country. However, demand for “rock salmon” devastated the shark’s population off the coasts of Britain and France, where the spiny dogfish is widely considered to be critically endangered.

The Common Fisheries Policy was introduced by the European Union in the 1970s to ensure a profitable and sustainable fishing industry – an objective in which it has completely failed.

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