I’ve just read the government’s White Paper, which sets out some of the UK’s position on Brexit. The entire 77-page document contains only one paragraph of weasel words on fishing, something which disappoints me because we live in a coastal region with a huge fishing tradition. In the run up to the EU referendum I met many North East fishermen who told me they were voting to Leave because Brexit represented a fantastic opportunity to take back control and create jobs in the fishing industry.
Fishing must not be an afterthought in the Brexit negotiations; it is vital that we take back full control of the UK’s waters and fishing policy so that we can revitalise our fishing industry and protect our fish stocks from being overfished by foreign boats. Flawed EU policies have caused unprecedented amounts of fish dumping (at one point we were dumping more fish than actually landed) and we must ensure that this stops.
Theresa May must not be allowed to sell British fishermen down the river. They need guarantees that our government will not once again let them down in the way that they’ve been let down every year since 1972.
Jonathan Arnott MEP
UKIP, North East