To : The Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Dear Mr Gove,
Re: The Government needs to put our fishermen first
During the EU Referendum campaign, you mentioned how the EU had harmed your father’s business in Aberdeen. Thanks to this unfortunate experience you know, from personal experience, just how the Common Fisheries Policy has ravaged British fisheries. You know how it has bankrupted fishermen and gutted coastal towns. You know how it has made people suffer. This makes the fears raised by your recent remarks on continuing to give large quotas to EU nations all the more regrettable.
Many feel it is a sign the Government is turning its back on them once again. They feel their interests are being put behind the interests of foreign business and Government convenience. Some worry the promise Brexit held for our fishing industry and our fishermen is being abandoned.
We understand there are concerns about the depleted capacity of Britain’s fishing fleet. 40 years of the Common Fisheries Policy has left it a shadow of its former self. If they were to fish as they are at the moment, they would not catch as much as could be caught in the future – but they will not fish as they are. Liberation from the chains of the CFP will allow a renewal of our fishing fleet. With new prospects for fishermen and easing credit for new boats, we could soon have a fishing fleet fit for our new age, and which we are proud of again.
This will require the Government to guarantee them a much better position than they are now in, however.
We at Get Britain Out, and all our supporters, understand too that numerous non-EU countries allow partial access to their fisheries, but an immensely smaller proportion than the CFP strips from Britain. Your recent vague words left the impression we may end up closer to our current position than the international norm. We ask you to clarify your position as soon as possible. The fishermen and the public need to know what provisions will be put in place to bring back control of our fishing waters, rather than the position which has been publicised following your recent comments.
Will you put our fishermen first in the new fishing quotas system?
Will you ensure consultation with fishermen is the most important consultation in building said system?
And will you guarantee any post-Brexit fishing quota system will award a substantial majority of the quota to our fishermen?
We hope the answer the all of these questions is ‘Yes’.
Our fishermen have been ignored in the past.
Please do not let them be ignored again.
Director, Get Britain Out
Director, Get Britain Out Limited
Director, The EU Referendum Campaign Limited