The Common Fisheries Policy – Part 2

When the Conservative Party under the leadership of Edward Heath won the June 1970 general election, Prime Minister Heath lost no time is opening up negotiation to join the EEC. By the time the formal application was entered the EEC had established the fishing regulation into the acquis communautaire.

What was the Prime Minister to do?, Because of the acquis communautaire, the Nation’s asset and a whole industry had to be sacrificed for membership, he felt that was a price to pay, but rather than tell the truth his answer was to lie, and try and persuade others to lie – namely the Norwegian Prime Minister.

What Britain secured was a 10 year transitional derogation from Article 2 of Regulation 2140/70, to have exclusive rights inside the 6 mile limit and partial 6 to 12 mile limit. At the end of the 10 year period the derogation terminates and you revert back to the original, namely Article 2, unless every member state agrees to create another derogation, which is what happened. It only takes one member to say “no” and you automatically revert back, so you can imagine the advantage the other member states have over Britain, who wants to renew the derogation to keep the 6 and partial 6 to 12 mile position, rather than revert to “equal access” up to the shore (base) line. What Heath implied was at the end of the 10 year period Britain held the veto to maintain the derogation which was utter nonsense, and he knew it, hence the reason for his writing to the Norwegian Prime Minister to keep under wraps what the joining terms concerning fisheries really meant, but it was too late, the Norwegian Fisheries Minister had already let the cat out of the bag.

Norway has stayed out of the EU, Britain has been immersed in, based on deception, most would call it lies, which still continues.

In 1976, our Westminster Parliament passed the Fisheries Limits 1976 Act establishing the British fishing zone of 200 mile/median zone, as did all the other EEC/EU Member States, but because of our, and their, Accession Treaties, they had all given their fishing waters to the EU, as Community waters, and the only exclusive bit given back to Britain, and all the other EU coastal Nations, was by the transitional derogation.

This really was the start of the eradication of the Nation State.

By 1982, the signatory signing had commenced, under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Seas, for the coastal state to legally by International law to establish the 200 mile/median line fisheries zones, which had taken 14 years to negotiate, and was finally completed in 1994..

The point about this, it was the Westminster Parliament, and that Parliament alone, that set the pace to eradicate Britain as a Nation and to set the wheels in motion to create a new Nation – the EU.

Junius, the one who lived around 1770, not the present one, wrote:

“We can never be really in danger till the forms of Parliament are made use of to destroy the substance of our civil and political liberties: till Parliament itself betrays its trust, by contributing to establish new principles of government; and employing the very weapons committed to it by the collective body to stab the Constitution”

245 years later that is exactly was has happened, the mother of Parliaments has destroyed British democracy and is well on its way to destroy the Nations and principalities of the United Kingdom.

We cannot blame the European Union, or on the Fishing issue, Spain. It was the Westminster Parliament alone that accepted the acquis communautaire within our Accession Treaty. Yes, they obtained some transitional derogations, which were all time limited, but then as the other 19 Nations joined, they agreed and endorsed the acquis communautaire those Nations had to accept.

Now we have been promised by the Prime Minister a referendum by the end of 2017 on whether to remain in, or leave the EU. In the circumstances, that is to be welcomed, but again it diminishes Parliament’s authority, as Parliamentarians have abdicated their responsibilities to govern on behalf of the electorate, by throwing the decision back to the people. That is why I believe this referendum should be by the people, for the people, and the Westminster MPs should stay out of it. (which they will not.)

Our form of democracy, through our Constitution, is that the people choose their rulers, and the rulers rule. If the people are not satisfied, they can get rid of them, and as no Parliament can bind its successor, the people can truly call the shots, but as Junius said around 1770, our Parliament has betrayed its trust – it has not told the truth, it has established new principles of government – namely handing governance to unelected EU Commissioners, the powers handed by the electorate to Parliament – has been used to undermine the Constitution. Junius 245 years ago was correct, Parliament itself is the danger to our Nation.

(The use of opt-outs will be explained in a later article.)

The Common Fisheries Policy – Part 1

We welcome John Ashworth of Restore Britain’s Fish, who will be writing a series of articles about the EU’s iniquitous Common Fisheries Policy. Here is the first piece:- 

The events start with the Treaty of Rome, an international agreement that led to the founding of the European Economic Community (EEC) on 1 January 1958. It was signed on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany – The six Member Nations.

Talks began at the end of June 1970 between the above six, and Britain Ireland Denmark and Norway, but before these four Nations had lodged their official application to join the EEC the six had created the Fisheries regulation.

When a Regulation is created, at the top it states the articles within the Treaty the regulation takes its authority from, and as soon as a Regulation comes into force, it in turn becomes what is known as the acquis communautaire.

In understanding the workings of the then EEC, now European Union, the above paragraph is probably one of the most important aspects to have to learn.

Firstly – what is this acquis communautaire. -. It is all EEC/EU treaties, EU legislation -(regulation), international agreements, standards, court verdicts, fundamental rights provisions and horizontal principles in the treaties such as equality and non-discrimination. In short, all EU-law.

When Britain joined in January 1973, the acquis communautaire amounted to around 5,000 pages; today it is estimated to be 170,000 pages and growing. When a nation joins, what is now the EU, it has to accept, and comply, with the acquis communautaire in full, without exception, other than with transitional derogations. In addition the existing members have to all agree, to the applying Nation joining under those terms, which in effect the existing members, by Treaty, are endorsing their allegiance/compliance to the acquis communautaire.

This then begs the question, when a politician states they will “reform” or “renegotiate”, one has to ask – what?, because if it is anything within the acquis communautaire, then you have to have a unanimous agreement among all members to change it, and if you take for example Croatia, who joined in July 2013, our Prime Minister agreed by Treaty to the terms, when nearly at the same, he saying he wants to change. Rather facing two ways at once.

Coming back to Britain’s Accession, the original six members, hours before the signed application for membership from the four was handed in, created Fisheries regulation 2140/70, which contained:

Article 2

1 Rules applied by each Member State in respect of fishing in the maritime waters coming under its sovereignty or within its jurisdiction shall not lead to differences in treatment of other Member States.

Member States shall ensure in particular equal conditions of access to and use of the fishing grounds situated in the waters referred to in the preceding subparagraph for all fishing vessels flying the flag of a Member State and registered in Community territory.

In laymen’s language, that is, on becoming a member of the then EEC, now EU, the fishery limits bestowed on a Nation by International Law, are handed to the EU, to become Community waters, shared equally and without discrimination, with every other Member Nation.

As Britain had the largest living marine resource within the EU. We had, by our Accession Treaty obligation share it with every other member – end result – our vessels had to go.

The British people were not told these facts, in fact the very opposite.

The purpose of Part 1, before extending onto transitional derogations, opt-outs and Parliament in Part 2, is to understand the Treaties themselves, the regulation based on the authority of Treaties, extending into an out of control acquis communautaire, as “the project” has grown from 6 members to 28. The numbers alone, by requiring unanimity, has created a rigid, unchangeable system.

When Britain joined in 1973 we had eight other members to get on side, with 17% of the Council of Ministers vote, today we have to get 27 other members on side with 8% of the vote. The founding Fathers of the EEC/EU knew others would join who would try to water down their objectives, but they designed the system, as you increased membership, a policy always supported by the Conservative Party, you strengthened the position to stay on track to create a fully integrated Europe, all in the EU, even if it is a two tier, a hard inner core, and softer outer core, both will have to accept and obey the acquis communautaire. The outer core will simply have more derogations and opt-outs.


Common sense prevails in Iceland

Last week, Iceland formally withdrew its EU membership application. Given the importance of fishing to Iceland’s economy it is hardly surprising that the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy has proved a major stumbling block. As with Norway, it has long been a principal factor in Icelandic lukewarmness to the EU, and when the country did start formal accession talks following the collapse of its banking sector, an agreement on the CFP was always going to be a challenge. Discussions never got beyond an EU demand for Iceland to reduce its mackerel catch and to abide by EU quotas. As one report put it, the EU gave Iceland an ultimatum: It’s us or the fish. Iceland chose the fish.

With the a centre-right anti-EU government in power since elections in 2013, these devfelopments have come as no surprise. Accession talks ceased two years ago, although there has been some opposition recently to the process being terminated without a referendum. However, those supporters of membership who took to the streets of Reykjavik  must surely recognise that they represent a shrinking minority. Opinion polls indicate that the sceptical Icelanders are becoming even more opposed to their country joining the EU.

Many of Iceland’s senior politicians strongly support their country’s independence. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Iceland’s Foreign Minister, said that “Iceland’s interests are better served outside the European Union.” Iceland has an advantage over Switzerland and Norway in this area. In these countries, well-organised anti-EU movements have more or less ensured that any referendum on joining the EU would be defeated, but it would be over and against the wishes of quite a few senior politicians who would like their country to join. David Cameron is fond of quoting Norwegian politicians who moan about their country’s relationship with the EU, even though Richard North and Peter Troy were easily able to find Norwegian MPs who were far happier to be outside the EU when they produced their DVD The Norway Option.

There is a lesson for the UK here. If tiny Iceland, with its population of barely one third of a million people (less than the population of Gloucestershire, in other words), has the confidence that it can survive outside the EU, those politicians in the UK who paint such a bleak picture of our country’s prospects outside the EU must be challenged. Such negativity flies in the face of the reality of our northern neighbour’s self-confidence. If Iceland can prosper as a sovereign independent country, so can we.

Photo by JasonParis