Fishing federation backs steps to take control of UK waters
A fishermen's group has welcomed a proposed Government bill which will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act which took Britain into the EU and meant that European law took precedence over laws passed in the UK Parliament.
The Berwick-based Anglo-Scottish Fish Producers’ Organisation is part of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), which welcomes what had informally been known as the Great Repeal Bill.
SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: “As far as fisheries are concerned, the Great Repeal Bill is the first legislative step towards full UK control and management of its own waters.
“That control and management cannot be obtained without the removal of certain core elements of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), particularly common access to our fishing grounds and guaranteed shares of fishing opportunities within our Exclusive Economic Zone.
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“Such provisions would directly contradict the notion of sovereignty and cannot be transferred to UK law, even on a temporary basis. Other elements of the CFP are simply unworkable in their present form and will require modification, notably the landings obligation.”
Mr Armstrong continued: “The UK intends to assert its right under international law to reserve first call on fishing opportunities for its own fishing fleets and communities, for the wider benefit of British jobs and investment.”
He said: “The constitutional arrangements within the UK for achieving these objectives should be determined with regard to the interests of our fishing communities rather than political expediency.”