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.


The Norway Option DVD

The Norway Option DVD

norway option dvd

Living outside the European Union – Find out how Norway has prospered outside the European Union but part of the “European Economic Area” (EEA). Publicist Peter Troy and director Tony Baker, an experienced political documentary maker together with anti-EU campaigner Richard North visit Norway and meet politicians, journalists and business people to see what we in the UK from the Norwegians. The 35 minute DVD film production is recommended viewing for people interested in the vexed debate on In or Out of the EU.

Click here to view the trailer of the film which is described as “excellent” by Lord Tebbit.

Sadly, Mr Troy died inApril 2015 and it is currently not possible to purchase copies of this DVD directly as his website has been taken down. If you would like to order a copy, please contact and we will make a note of your request and when copies once again become available, ensure one is dispatched to you.




Rebuttal of the Europhiles’ Arguments

On 30th June 2011 The Rt Hon David Lidington MP, Minister for Europe, claimed a number of benefits that follow from Britain’s EU membership. In this rebuttal the Bruges Group addresses the main points he raises.

1) Access to the Single Market is of central economic importance to the UK

The Single Market is a Customs Union with the institutions of the European Union making regulations which govern businesses within it. There are no important customs unions anywhere else in the world.

EU membership is not a prerequisite for access to the Single Market. Switzerland and Norway which are outside of the EU, export more in relation to their GDPs and per capita than the UK does. Furthermore, both China and the USA each export more to the EU than the UK does and without having their economies burdened by costly EU regulation.

Countries as far afield as Mexico, Turkey, Chile and South Africa have tariff free access to the Single Market. Without having to pay the huge costs associated with the EU. As shown later in this report the costs both the taxpayer and the British economy amount to many 10s of billions of pounds per year.

The Single Market with its four freedoms of free movement of goods, capital, services, and people is not just reserved for EU members. Those four freedoms also apply to members of what is known as the European Economic Area (EEA). Britain is also a member of the EEA and this guarantees that Britain will always enjoy those four freedoms regardless of EU membership.

 2) The EU is one of the world’s most important trading zones

Less that 10% of the UK economy is involved with trading with businesses in other EU member- states. However, 100% of our economy must comply with the EU’s excessive regulatory burden.

Single Market trade is also becoming less important to the UK. With the growth of emerging markets the amount of British foreign trade with the rest of the world is set to increase so that by
2020 around 70% of Britain’s foreign trade will not be with the EU. Presently, the EU accounts for approximately just 40% of the UK’s trade.

 3) The benefits of EU membership… include free movement

As previously stated citizens of European Economic Area member-states have the opportunity for free movement throughout both the EU and the EEA. If the government continues to support the free movement of people then this can be achieved via the UK’s membership of the EEA.

ree movement into the UK is also an issue of great political concern in the UK, yet government cannot address this whilst governed by EU rules in this area.

 4) That 3.5 million jobs, 10% of the UK workforce, are reliant on exports to EU member states

This misleading claim first emerged in the year 2000 from the now defunct Britain in Europe group which unsuccessfully campaigned for Britain to join the euro. They apparently based this claim on research they commissioned into how many jobs were involved with the EU. However, Dr Martin Weale the Director of The National Institute for Economic and Social Research described Britain in Europe’s spin as “pure Goebbels” and said, “in many years of academic research I cannot recall such a willful distortion of the facts.” The report had in reality came to the conclusion that the jobs would still exist regardless of whether the UK was a member of the EU or not.

It is surprising that a Conservative Minister is repeating that erroneous claim.

British people and business do not need to remain within the EU, a supra-national political structure, to trade with other people and businesses on the continent.

The UK is a member of the European Economic Area and EEA members have tariff free access to the Single Market. Furthermore, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) would prevent the EU discriminating against British exporters. What is more, Articles 3, 8 and 50 of the Lisbon Treaty legally requires the EU to negotiate “free and fair trade” with non-EU countries.

The UK is the single biggest purchaser of exports from the other 26 EU member-states. They sell far more to Britain than British businesses sell to them. Perhaps the government should take action to address structural trade deficit which effectively means that Britain losing jobs to the continent.

 5) Collective action gives us more negotiating power

Britain, with only 8% of the votes in the Council of Ministers has little formal power over the determination of EU rules, whereas a sovereign state would have 100% authority over its own affairs.

Outside of the EU Britain can retake its seat on the World Trade Organisation and negotiate according to our best interests instead of being represented by an EU trade commissioner who is currently from Belgium. Britain will then be able to negotiate without being encumbered by the differing interests of other EU nations that often have a different outlook to the UK. And as one of the largest WTO members the UK can support the many other members who share our global trading outlook.

Britain is having its own foreign policy decisions being subjugated to common EU positions. Both national and EU embassies will have to cooperate. As a result of the common foreign policy the UK diplomatic service will be receiving direction from the EU’s High Representative.

EU rules also state that “The High Representative shall represent the Union for matters relating to the common foreign and security policy. He or she shall conduct political dialogue with third parties on the Union’s behalf and shall express the Union’s position in international organisations and at international conferences.”

They also state that “When the Union has defined a position on a subject which is on the United Nations Security Council agenda, those Member States which sit on the Security Council shall request that the High Representative be asked to present the Union’s position.”

Furthermore, Defence integration is already underway.

One of the areas cited by Mr Lidington included the ability to reduce crime, catch criminals and take action to tackle abuse of the asylum system

What Mr Lidington may be unaware of is that Britain cannot deport foreign EU criminals because of an EU directive, number 2004/58/EC. The EU’s increasing involvement in areas to do with Justice and Home Affairs such as the European Arrest Warrant and the European Investigation Order are seen as threats to our civil liberties and should not be welcomed.

The attempt to claim that EU control over Britain’s asylum policy as a benefit of EU membership is also surprising.

 6) Mr Lidington was confident in the UK’s ability to move the EU in the right direction

The EU is unreformable, it is not proposing to return any powers to the member-states and the EU continues to legislate thus continually deepening the centralisation within the EU.

 7) The governments EU referendum lock was also cited in the letter as part of moving the EU in the right direction

It does no such thing. The Government have introduced the EU Bill, containing the so-called ‘Referendum Lock’; however this does not prevent the EU expanding its powers without a referendum. It can still do this by legislating in new areas which it has not as yet done so but are granted to it as shared competences under the terms of the treaties. Once it has done so this becomes another EU occupied field and national Parliaments must then confirm to EU law and can only legislate in those areas if they obey the principles of the EU legislation. The EU Bill does not cover referendums in such circumstances and only in the event of there being a new Treaty and then only if the Government considers a Treaty change a ‘significant’ transfer of power.

In conclusion what Mr Lidington has failed to address is the enormous costs of Britain’s EU membership:

  • Britain has to hand over to the EU more than £10 billion each year excluding contributions to the bailout schemes
  • The Common Agricultural Policy costs Britain at least £16.8 billion per annum. According to the Consumer Nominal Assistance Coefficient (CNAC), on average, agricultural prices paid by European consumers are 23% higher than those prevailing in international markets. It means higher food prices for an average family in the UK of £1,500 per year.
  • The Common Fisheries Policy costs Britain over £3 billion in lost commercial opportunities each year. This figure is derived at by calculating the proportion of the value of the EU’s total catch, approximately £5 billion per year, of which it is estimated that 70% comes from previously defined British waters. Furthermore, in 1970 there were 21,443 fishermen in the UK. By 2007 that figure had dropped to 12,729: a decrease of 40.64%.
  • Over-regulation from the EU on business costs Britain over £20 billion per annum holding back UK economic growth by 2% each year. The British Chamber of Commerce Burdens Barometer, counting regulation from Whitehall and Brussels, puts the cumulative figure of total regulation upon British businesses much higher. At least 50%, and perhaps as much as 70%, of this legislation originated from Brussels, therefore the cost of EU regulation is at least 2% of GDP and that is a conservative estimate. Peter Mandelson told the 2004 CBI conference that the cost of regulation amounts to 4% of Europe’s GDP. Also in 2004 the Dutch Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Gerrit Zalm stated that the administrative burden on business in the Netherlands was estimated at 4% of GDP. In October 2006 Gunter Verhuegen, the European Commission Vice-President for industry and Enterprise estimated that the annual cost of EU regulation across the EU amounted to €600 billion per annum (around 5.5% of GDP), while the benefits of the Single Market amount to only €160 billion: therefore the costs exceeded the benefits by €440 billion. Later, in a letter from Commissioner Verhuegen to Bill Newton-Dunn MEP, dated 18th June 2007, he gives the overall EU figure as an average of 3.5% of GDP for all member states and the figure would be similar for the UK. Therefore, the £20 billion per annum and 2% figures are erring on the side of caution.

The question needs to be asked if this is a cost worth paying and ask for a genuine explanation of what we get in return. If the Treasury disputes those figures then there should be an official cost benefit analysis into Britain’s EU membership.


The Bruges Group is an independent all–party think tank. Set up in February 1989, its aim was to promote the idea of a less centralised European structure than that emerging in Brussels. Its inspiration was Margaret Thatcher’s Bruges speech in September 1988, in which she remarked that “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re–imposed at a European level…”. The Bruges Group has had a major effect on public opinion and forged links with Members of Parliament as well as with similarly minded groups in other countries.

The Bruges Group spearheads the intellectual battle against the notion of “ever–closer Union” in Europe. Through its ground–breaking publications and wide–ranging discussions it will continue its fight against further integration and, above all, against British involvement in a single European state.

For more information about the Bruges Group please contact:

Robert Oulds, Director
The bruges group, 227 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street, London W1B 5TB
Tel: +44 (0)20 7287 4414