commoneThe UK Government is facing increasing pressure to clarify its post-Brexit fishing policy after around 40 MPs have joined the fight to take back control of the Britain’s seas, a pressure group chief has revealed.
Alan Hastings of the pro-Brexit group Fishing for Leave, has urged the UK Government to overturn the Common Fisheries Policy, a piece of EU legislation which gives a host of European states access to fishing waters between six and 12 nautical miles from British shores.
Under the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), members of the European superstate are allowed to fish between 12 and 200 miles away from British coastlines but this can be scrapped when Britain leaves the crumbling Brussels bloc.
Fishing for Leave are concerned the Conventions Act will give EU nations backdoor access to Britain’s fishing grounds even after we leave the sprawling superstate.
Mr Hastings said: “We have managed to create a huge storm over it where we have now got MPs writing letters, written questions, oral questions to the Government.
“Fair play to those MPs who have stuck their hand up and asked the question ‘what is going on here?’”
Among those to express their concerns with what Britain’s future fishing policy may look like include Tory MPs Craig Mackinlay and Sarah Newton, according to Mr Hastings.
The Fishing for Leave chief added he thought George Eustice, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), had his “heart in the right place” but that his head might be turned by different factions within the Conservative party.
He said: “Our great worry is that certain malicious influences who don’t want to have a fight with Europe over anything, least of all fishing, will lead those Brexiteers to sit down and be quiet.
“Those whose heart is in the right place, and I believe George Eustice’s is, will be heavily leant on by the Conservative party machine.”
Mr Hastings added that Britain should take control of the negotiations as we command a much better position than our European allies.
He said: “They aren’t going to go down without a fight, but the British Government need to realise throughout Brexit, we are the ones in the driving seat.
“We’ve got the fish they have got. There’s nothing they can offer us in terms of fisheries.”
A Government spokesman said: “We recognise the importance of our fishing industry and we will be working hard to secure the best possible deal for all our fishermen – both now, and for the future.
“Leaving the EU is a real opportunity to review fisheries management in order to ensure fair access to quota, sustainable stocks and a healthy marine environment.”