The Common Fisheries Policy part 6: The public swallowed the propaganda

Our British political representatives continually assured everyone things would be okay for British fishermen, with the huge Spanish fishing fleet becoming into the “community fleet”. They gave assurances that all would be well when the first ten-year derogation ran out, just asthey did in the 1970s and just as is presently happening regarding the forthcoming derogation termination in 2022.

These same people had a problem:- knowing full well that the execution of British fishermen had to take place, but having to do it without the British people knowing.

Looking back in hindsight, we, the fishing Industry, provided the answer for them.

In the second half of the 1980s, and into the 1990s two situations were happening: large amounts of juvenile fish were being dumped dead back into the sea, and the sand eel stocks, which play a crucial role in the food chain, were being hammered.

The industry highlighted these problems, and through some brilliant research by the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen, groundbreaking information was provided on how, by changes ot the gear design, the small fish would not be caught.

Our own Ministry firstly denied either of the events were taking place then secondly went into silent mode, appearing to want to take no action. At that time we did not appreciate why.

One area where the EU excels is if they have a problem, sometimes a crisis ensues which they can use to solve the problem and  at the same time further the integration process. This is called a beneficial crisis.

Here, we had unwittingly solved their problem. By allowing the slaughter of juvenile fish to continue, encouraging the wiping out of the sand eel stock by issuing massive uncatchable quotas, what will happen is that fish stocks will plummet. Exactly the same thing had happened in Norway a few years previously, so they knew it was going to happen.

The next thing was that the cry of “too many vessels chasing too few fish” was heard. Various means of encouragement were given to British fishermen to get out – decommissioning, and giving or selling our quota to Spain and everyone in the UK thought this was to safeguard the environment. On the contrary, I maintain this was a deliberate act to bring about the treaty obligations without anyone in the UK realising the trickery and deception that had taken place. It was a very convenient beneficial crisis that came at the right time. It was concealed within the claim that too many vessels chasing too few fish without the British public knowing the skullduggery and real reason why fish stocks were plummeting.

The mass destruction of the British fleet took place and the British people thought it was all about conservation. The EU, ably assisted by our own Ministry, had won a great propaganda coup, Spain has been integrated as per her rights as part of the community fleet in community waters. The concept of national fleets and natonal waters were being eradicated and the public were none the wiser. Mission accomplished.

This deptiction of events will, of course, be denied, but it is not strange that once the British fleet was scrapped, the sand eel situation was acknowledged, other measures were introduced, and stocks started to improve? All accomplished by the British against the British. This is why I call it evil. How otherwise could you have got rid of the British fleet without a public outcry if stocks had been healthy?

Three decades ago, the divers of the Marine Laboratory, had made themselves a simple but very effective underwater vehicle which was towed and which allowed them to observe the escape behavioural pattern of certain species. This opened up the possibility of designing selective fishing gear. For example Haddock, on trying to escape, go upwards and backwards, cod go downwards and try and escape underneath, so you can start to design fishing gear with escape panels. Once again, it was typical that much of this work was commenced by the British but never advanced because it was not in the interest of EU Treaties where politics of integration come first. Our bright ideas were then developed further by other countries.

Where the escape areas were noted, panels of different mesh shape and size can be inserted. This was blocked during the process of the British fleet’s destruction, but is now happening. If you look at fish netting, it is what we call diamond mesh. When you pull the strain across two opposite points of the diamond mesh it works in a scissor action which makes the whole trawl very strong and flexible. For escaping round fish this can be a problem. The fish, by pushing into the mesh, opens it, wriggles though. The mesh then closes just as the fish flick its tail to get away, taking scales off the tail area where it then gets an infection and in turns dies. Therefore the area of escape, a window of square mesh is inserted, but because this mesh is a lot weaker and distorts easily, it has to be specially made. Unlike diamond mesh, the escape opening size stays constant.

This is a start, but not the full solution. In Canada they have had good success with grids set at an angle inside the narrow end of the trawl.

It is possible to design fishing gear to take the species and size you require, leaving everything intact alive at the sea bed. It is no good carrying out separation near the sea surface, because with fish that have swim bladders, being hauled up through the pressure zones ruptures their bladder.

Even through very slow progress is being made within the CFP and regionalisation is becoming a possibility, there are far too many serious flaws within the system for it to be ever a success. Common European Union policies are political; they are cumbersome, bureaucratic, one-policy-fits-all, a rigid structure, slow to respond, and above all to create full integration.

Marine life simply doesn’t respond to that system. In the sea, life is fast, furious, and cruel. Those supporters of the CFP repeatedly claim that “you need a CFP because fish know no boundaries”. True they don’t, but they have other boundaries. It is not rocket science. Marine life revolves around the environment; water temperature is critical. Squid, for example, will move for half a degree temperature change. The food chain is a must. Down in the sea, everything gobbles up everything else up. It is a vicious world down there. What is so important is to look after the base of the pyramid of life. If the base is destroyed, as happened with sand-eels, you can’t expect much at the top.

So different species will move for food and temperature. Thirty years ago there was a huge outcry about “overfishing” when the cod left the Grand Banks, Newfoundland. It was not overfishing. The water became to cold and the cod moved eastwards across the North Atlantic, and as the cod were no longer on the Banks, eating up other species, the amount of crab and shrimp multiplied dramatically.

So if you are trying to control fisherman, as they are presently, restricting them to a given area, in a given time frame, for a given species, of a given quantity, you are in deep trouble, and you end up destroying more than you market.

Because, unlike agriculture which has fences, keeping farm animals where you want them, in the sea, excluding fish farming, the wild marine stock are free to go where they please. As one species move out another moves in. Presently you might have quota for one, not the other. Result, discarding marketable fish.

It is not just the commercial fisherman that has to be considered, but also the huge potential of recreational fisherman.

So the drive for a Common Policy, destroys the environment, jobs and communities. It is a disaster and it is not creating a united European people, but the very opposite – Nationalism. How do you think the residents of Peterhead feel, when after being Britain’s premier fishing port 20 years ago, has become desolate with empty shops and a harbour with hardly any Scottish vessels, and yet money is being spent to deepen the harbour to accommodate Spanish and French vessels as a transit point?

In part 7 we look at the FleXcit plan for Fisheries.

The Common Fisheries Policy Part 5: Spanish Accession

When the original six member states produced the fisheries regulation in 1970 that created the Common Fisheries Policy, they must have thought they had a winner. Not only did they think they would do well out of the policy, but it was what the founding fathers wanted, creating community waters and in due course a community fleet. It was the start of the eradication of the Nation State. At that period of time it was already acknowledged a 200 mile/median line fishing zone was coming, as it did by 1976 through an Act of Parliament.

The big disappointment for the then EEC was the rejection of membership by the Norwegian people, who if they had joined, would have contributed a healthy large marine resource with not so much fishing capacity. Also if Norway had joined in due course, so might Iceland. The problem for Norway was fisheries, as it is for Iceland.

When the preparation was taking place for the management system to be put in place after the first ten- year derogation ran out, often mistakenly called the CFP, it was established that Spain, whose application was filed in 1977, would join. Indeed, along with Portugal it did join in 1986, bringing a massive fishing capacity with little resource, tipping the capacity to resource ratio the wrong way.Things were further complicated by Greenland leaving the then EEC in 1985, another loss of resource and again, because of fishing.

Britain tried to secure a 50 mile exclusive fishing zone, and later attempted to seek a higher percentage share of the quota, but the other Member States said, “no, go and read the Treaties” – something the British are not good at.

The Accession of Spain and Portugal sailed through our Parliament during 1985, without hardly any questions being asked, with both Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe in the House of Commons and the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth office in the Lords, Baroness Young saying the same thing, namely:-

“Fisheries was one of the most difficult issues to be negotiated and among the last to be settled. The Spanish fleet is presently the fifth largest in the world. After Spain’s accession, the Community fleet as a whole will be the world’s second largest. It was therefore essential in the negotiations to protect limited stocks and maintain the balance of existing fishing opportunities under the Common Fisheries Policy, only so recently agreed. The outcome was broadly satisfactory. Spain and Portugal are incorporated into the common fisheries policy for its duration. But, with certain limited exceptions, Spanish and Portuguese access to EC waters is limited to those areas and species to which they currently have access. The number of Spanish and Portuguese vessels fishing in EC waters will continue to be strictly controlled and subject to strict reporting and monitoring requirements. The arrangements thus do not affect the effective fishing opportunities of United Kingdom fishermen.”

This statement was taken at face value and not challenged. It was, in the long term, totally wrong, even if in the short term it was correct, but when the transitional arrangements ran out, Spain would get her rights as stated in her Accession Treaty to which Britain had previously agreed. When a new member brings in massive capacity, with little resource, it is going to cause tremendous problems, and as it is clearly stated there can be no increase in fishing effort in Community waters, such a combination can only mean one thing, as Ruth Albuquerque clearly said in Shetland, some fishermen had to go to make room – British ones.

The truth did not come out, until a decade later, when the then MP for Ludlow, Christopher Gill asked in November 1995 a parliamentary written question: “Does the percentage share-out allocated to each member state of the EU for each of the fish stocks concerned vary when a new member state is fully integrated into the CFP?”

The answer came back from Fisheries Minister Tony Baldry, a month after his mauling by Tom Hay in the Carlton Club, He said he would write to the Hon. Member and thankfully the answer was printed in Fishing News in December 1995:-

“Member states percentage do indeed vary in those stocks which are affected by the accession of new member states and that it is true to say that the UK’s quotas as a proportion of total community quota decreased when Spanish quota were added to the community total.”

Yet a few months previously, in September 1995, newly appointed Scottish Fisheries Minister Raymond Robertson, had been lambasting the SBF campaign, saying leaving the CFP is wrong, what we want is reform of the fisheries policy and reform of the CFP will really happen.

Genuine reform can only be implemented by unanimous agreement. Meanwhile, the integration process rolls onwards and the obliteration of the British fishing fleet continues, in a most devious manner.

The deviousness all came from the British side; none of it was Spain’s fault or responsibility. The situation and procedure were laid down in the Spanish and Portuguese Accession Treaties and the relevant Regulations. Admittedly. these are not the easiest documents to follow, but everything is there. Sadly throughout our association with the EEC/EU, it has been British officials and politicians who have not told the truth, but rather, peddlied deception.

William Hague, the first of three consecutive Conservative Leaders who endorsed the policy of National control of Fisheries, finished his October 1999 conference speech by stating:-

“And so I say to the people of Britain: if you believe that our country is unique in the world but is in danger of losing its identity; if you believe that Britain is a place where you should be rewarded for doing the right thing, but now you are penalised for it; if you believe in Britain as a healthy democracy, but that the standards of democracy are now being tarnished and diminished; if you believe in Britain as a country where the law is enforced and respected, but that now it is not respected enough; if you believe in Britain as a country that will work with its neighbours but never submit to being governed by anyone else; if you believe in an independent Britain. Then come with me, and I will give you back your country.”

This is the same William Hague who has recently (December 2015) said he would vote to stay in the EU, and this now explains why he would never say exactly how he would implement National control. What he said, and what he intended doing were opposites.

Even now the present Westminster Fisheries Minister George Eustice MP states he is a “strong eurosceptic”, who is pleased with his Ministry’s so called “CFP reform”. yet he happily hands the British people’s resource to an outside source – the European Union, He is another minister who doesn’t understand what the CFP is and muddles it up with a political management system, which he is promoting. He is actually proud of it and its target of achieving full integration. Is this former UKIP member a Eurosceptic ? I think not; rather another Hague.

With this historic record of deception by senior politicians and Civil Servants how can you trust anything Cameron, his associates or the Civil Servants will tell us over the next 20 months? If this tale of betrayal has not been bad enough, the next stage in the project to get rid of the British fleet without the British public understanding what was happening was pure evil.

This will be revealed in Part 6.

The Common Fisheries Policy – Part 4

The Common Fisheries Policy – Part 3

We have established in parts 1 and 2 that Parliament itself is the danger to our nation. Parliament has become a middle tier of management through which EU legislation passes (via the European Communities 1972 Act and its additions), to be then administered and policed by the Nation State.

As we observe Prime Minister Cameron do the rounds, for whatever he wants to portray as his reform package to bring about this second tier, it is important to compare what is happening now, to the beginning, 43 years ago, by another Prime Minister – Heath.

On the 17th. February 1972, during the debate in the House of Commons during the second reading of the European Communities 1972 Bill, the Leader of the opposition Harold Wilson, after talking about sugar and New Zealand stated: The fisheries ‘Transitional arrangements’ (Article 100 of the treaty) allows members until 31st December, 1982, to restrict fishing in waters under their sovereignty or jurisdiction. Beyond that date the Commission has the initiative in making proposals, and then the Council: acting on a proposal from the Commission…shall examine the provisions which could follow the derogations in force until 31st December, 1982. It does not say it will or must. The derogation is in force until 31st December, 1982, and the Council has to decide. Unanimity rule? Veto? Whose veto? It really is New Zealand again in the case of fisheries, except that it takes effect a few years later. There is no automatic continuation of the temporary provisions, with a veto on attempts to end them, but the working out of new and conceivably entirely different provisions which could follow. It is worse than New Zealand because with New Zealand there is some commitment to do something. How much is not stated. Here there is no commitment whatever which could follow.”

Wilson was nearly there, but he clearly did not know what happens when a transitional derogation ends. That is, you revert back to what you were derogated from.

Prime Minster Heath replied: “The Leader of the Opposition must surely agree that we cannot go into Europe and take decisions unilaterally, on our own. The question, therefore, if one is dealing for example, with fisheries as far ahead as 1982, is how we can best protect our rightful interests. If it is to be done on a majority decision, then there is a possibility of being outvoted. But if it is a question of a unanimous decision and we have the right of veto, then we have the ability to protect our essential interests. [Interruption.] With respect to hon. Gentlemen opposite, we have the right of veto.”

The Prime Minister seriously misled the House. Instead of explaining how the system works to the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister confusds the issue further, by stating we held the veto, which we didn’t. All the other Members held the veto to stop a replacement derogation being created, which can again only be transitional, (No longer than the original) not permanent.

At the end of Prime Minister Heath’s winding up speech he stated: “If this House will not agree to the Second Reading of the Bill tonight and so refuses to give legislative effect to its own decision of principle, taken by a vast majority less than four months ago, my colleagues and I are unanimous that in these circumstances this Parliament cannot sensibly continue. I urge hon. Members to implement the clear decision of principle taken on 28th October last and to cast their votes for the Second Reading of this Bill.”

So Prime Minister Heath gave the House of Commons false information during the debate on the Second reading, and threatened to dissolve Parliament. He won the vote by 8. If he had told the truth he could have lost.

With Prime Ministers Heath and Cameron it begs the question, did/do they understand Accession Treaties, derogations, and the acquis communautaire? I believe they did/do, but deliberately pull the wool over our eyes.

Heath is now history concerning sovereignty, but little is known about his antics over sugar, New Zealand, and this subject – Fisheries, but he certainly covered up on derogations and made them appear the absolute opposite of what they really were. .

Cameron is doing the same with the acquis communautaire. When he went to Poland recently he gave the attitude of being equal partners.

Mr Cameron was forced to admit that the two nations have not managed to reach agreement on key elements of his renegotiation plan ahead of the Council Meeting

Why should they? If a subject that Cameron wants changing is part of the acquis communautaire, Poland can sit back and do nothing. Why should she negotiate away something that is hers by Treaty, a Treaty signed and endorsed by the British Parliament and voted for by Cameron? Heath gave the impression he held the veto to renew a derogation, Cameron gives the impression that he can make another EU member change the acquis communautaire, when that member was obliged to fulfil, without exception, the acquis on joining.

Remember Poland on joining, was in a similar position to Spain, which had a 16-year transitional derogation against her to stop full rights on fishing. Poland had a 7-year derogation against her for the free movements of workers, but the UK, via Westminster MPs, decided to waive it.

During the second reading of the European Union (Accessions) Bill, on 21st. May 2003, that endorsed Poland’s terms, not one MP voted against.

In that debate Michael Ancram said: “We made it clear all along in this House that we believed in accession and wanted enlargement of the European Community. That was the position of the Conservative party and it is exactly what we have said all the way along.”

The Minister for Europe – Denis MacShane said: “I refer to the free movement of workers. Once the 10 new member states are full members of the EU, all EU citizens will be able to travel freely. People will come and go as they please. Those who want to work here must have jobs to go to.”

and The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – Jack Straw said: “It will attract the workers we need in key sectors. It will ensure that they can work here without restrictions and need not be a burden on the public purse. It makes sense financially, as we can focus resources on the real immigration problems, rather than trying to stop EU citizens enjoying normal EU rights.”

What is it about our Prime Ministers, that they appear incapable of telling and acting within the bounds of truth? They happily sign Treaties and legal documents, then want to renege.

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.