Get out! EU fishermen should LOSE access to British waters after Brexit, shock poll claims

Posted on Jan 17 2018 - 2:37am by admin

The YouGov poll commissioned by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) found that 59 per cent of those who expressed an opinion wanted EU fishermen to lose automatic access to British waters on the official departure date of 29 March 2019.

Another 20 per cent agreed with the idea that there should be a short transition period for fishing to the end of 2019.

SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: “It is clear that there is overwhelming public support for the UK to regain control of what is after all part of its natural capital – the fish stocks around our shores.

“It is pleasing that voters have also been persuaded that it makes sense for us to leave the [EU’s] Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) within the early stages of the transition period.”

The poll comes as the EU is thought to be considering demanding complete access to British fish stocks among other demands during a transition period.

A draft communiqué ahead of negotiations on a two year transision period has suggested that the EU will demand that the UK in effect remains as a member and has to obey all the rules.

Today a Downing Street spokesman refused to rule out allowing access to fishing waters.

However, the campaign by the SFF to quickly regain control of Britain’s waters is known to be backed by Tory environment secretary Michael Gove, who lead the Vote Leave campaign.

The SFF is pushing for a deal where the final quota setting meeting to effect the UK is in December 2018 allowing Britain to fully take back control as a “coastal state” by the end of 2019.

Like many in the once thriving British fishing industry Mr Gove’s father fishing business collapsed as a result of British membership of the EU when other countries’ fishermen were given unfettered access to British waters he revealed during the referendum campaign.

The campaign is also gaining public support according to the YouGov poll.

The pollsters asked voters: found that 46 per cent favoured immediately after leaving the EU in March 2019 and 16 per cent said after a short bridging period but prior to the end of the two-year transition period.

Fewer than 12 per cent said at the end of the transition period, 5 per cent indicated that the UK should not reclaim full control and just under 22 per cent did not know.

When the ‘don’t knows’ were stripped out, the figures were 59 per cent for leave immediately, 20 per cent by the end of 2019, 15 per cent at the end of transition period and 6 per cent to allow EU countries to continue to fish in British waters.

The YouGov poll of 1,631 people was carried out on 11th and 12th January.

The poll came out as Labour’s MEPs in the European Parliament backed a motion to keep Britain in the Common Fisheries Policy and allow Brussels to control British waters after Brexit.

The vote in  the European Parliament has highlighted fears that British fishing waters could be bargained away in a Brexit deal.

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