LeaveHQ, 05/12/2015  

LeaveHQ represents a number of leading Leaver organisations including the Bruges Group and Campaign for an Independent Britain under the umbrella of the Leave Alliance. Joining our efforts is Restore Britain's Fish.

Restore Britain's Fish is a continuation of the nineties Save Britain's Fish campaign that was then the leading eurosceptic pressure group for bringing powers back from the European Union to the Member State– namely “National control of Fisheries” that became Conservative Party policy under leaders, Hague, Duncan-Smith and Howard, but removed by Cameron.

Save Britain's Fish ceased campaigning at the end of 2002, because Spain by then was fully integrated into the Common Fisheries Policy, and the decimation of the British fleet to accommodate the increased tonnage into Community waters was well under way. 13years on, it is not a question of “saving” but “restoring” Britain's Fish. Because of the pending EU referendum the campaign has restarted, to be part of “The Leave Alliance” and supporting the blogs associated with that alliance.

By the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea the 200 mile/median line zone around the British coast is bestowed on the Nation State, but the British Westminster Parliament, by their decision alone, have handed, and continue to hand, the living marine resource within that zone, to the European Union to be shared equally and without discrimination with every other member State of the European Union to become Community waters..

The past and present campaign was/is run by John Ashworth in conjunction with persons from the fishing industry and ancillary industries from all coastal areas from Cornwall to Shetland and Northern Ireland. John is not a fisherman but a designer and manufacture of fishing gear who spent 20 years on board trawlers around the world, either learning their requirements or teaching how to use his product. For several years he wrote a conservation column in the Fishing press, and lectured in other countries on the subject. Along with his SBF colleagues studied constitutional law and the workings of the EU.

For those wishing to learn the subject of the European Union, originally the European Economic Community, there is no finer way than through the fishing story. From the Treaty of Rome, to how the first fisheries regulation was created from the Treaty, and the regulation becoming the acquis communautaire (the EU legislation a Nation joining the EU must accept and implement in full without exception) Because it is impossible for a new nation to do this overnight, what are called transitional derogations are issued, a subject our Parliament in 1972 were deceived over, unlike the Norwegians who their Ministers told the truth.

Norway never joined the EU, her people deciding to remain in EFTA – the European Free Trade Association through which has access to the EEA – European Economic Area, better known as the Single Market.

For the first few years after Britain joined the then EEC, nothing much happened until Spain applied for membership, which commenced in 1986. Spain had a massive fishing fleet mainly fishing in waters under third country agreements which were starting to terminate. That fleet had to be accommodated in Community waters, someone had to go, it was the British and Irish.

However because of the difficulties of integrating Spain into a Common Policy, she was made to wait 16 years, until 2002 before obtaining her full Accession Treaty rights, rights agreed by the British Parliament, during which time British Ministers never stated the truth of the future, and totally denied the outcome when challenged, instead peddled the answer for British fishermen was “reform”.

This was not Spain's or the EU's fault, because these events were all within the Treaties agreed by Britain, the fault lies with our own Parliament. Lord Burleigh in 1698 said ”England can never be thoroughly ruined but by a Parliament”.

Worse was to come. British Ministers knew the British fishing fleet had to be decimated in order to bring about the Treaty obligations, but how, without the British public becoming aware of what was happening.

Two events happened that created the beneficial crises that let our Ministers off the hook. Vast quantities of juvenile fish were being dumped dead back into the sea, and the sand-eel stock, a major element in the food cycle, were being heavily overfished.

The British Fishing Industry highlighted these facts, our Research Institutions designed fishing gear that would prevent the slaughter, but to no avail, nothing was done about these two serious problems - fish stocks declined, giving our Ministers the ability of getting rid of our vessels under the slogan “to many vessels chasing to few fish.”

From the fishing story there are two lessons, the word reform is a fallacy, and the integrationist drive to achieve a Common Policy, nothing stands in the way, the environment, the people, communities, the Nation State – nothing. That is why our campaign wants control back with the British people.

LeaveHQ will be publishing regular updates from Restore Britain's Fish.

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