Fisheries fears over extended Brexit transition

The SFF said any extended transitional period would make no sense whatsoever for fishing as it would force the industry to operate under the Common Fisheries Policy beyond 2020
The SFF said any extended transitional period would make no sense whatsoever for fishing as it would force the industry to operate under the Common Fisheries Policy beyond 2020

The fishing industry has reacted angrily to the latest news that the Prime Minister has proposed to the EU an extended Brexit transition along with an obligation for a payment of a further £20 billion.

Theresa May announced that the UK's transition out of the EU could be extended by 'a matter of months' in a bid ensure there is no visible border in Northern Ireland.

But she stressed that while this was a new idea which had emerged during negotiations, it was not expected to be used

With the UK leaving the EU in March next year, the current plan is for the transitional period to finish at the close of 2020.

Bertie Armstrong of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation announced: "We understand the logic for some of an extension to the implementation period, but for fishing it would make no sense whatsoever to force the industry to operate under the Common Fisheries Policy beyond 2020.

"All the practical international processes for the UK to become an independent Coastal State, exercising its rights and responsibilities accordingly, are already in place

"Further postponement would erode if not endanger our emergence as one of the primary Coastal States in the North-East Atlantic.

"There is a genuine fear among fishermen that any extension to the UK’s time in the Brexit waiting room would be used by the EU to place conditions on the return of fish stocks that are rightfully ours via long-term agreements that would be difficult to disentangle in years to come."

Echoing those sentiments, Fishing for Leave said the UK was "heading for No Brexit through continual can kicking".

A campaign spokesperson said: "A 3-year transition will see the fishing industry eradicated as the EU will be free to cull us by enforcing detrimental rules we'd have signed up to swallowing.

"The EU have every reason to wipe us out as they can then claim the 'surplus' of our resources we would no longer have the fleet left to catch using UNCLOS Article 62.2.

"And for what good are we to be sacrificed again? If we can't solve the fabricated backstop problem now, how will another three years that will be carnage help?"

The campaign said Downing Street and Mrs May were lining up "for a total sell out".

It is now calling on MPs to demand the Prime Minister resignation.

"We are supporting that the PM must go to avoid not only the fishing and coastal communities being mullered but the whole country. It is simple - May must go."