The government should “tear up” all EU fisheries rules and break decisively with the principles of the Common Fisheries Policy post-Brexit, Nigel Farage has urged.
Speaking alongside former environment secretary Owen Paterson this week as pro-Brexit lobby group Fishing for Leave unveiled a new fishing policy paper, Farage said PM Theresa May should avoid betraying the UK fishing sector by “squandering the chance to tear up all EU rules of the CFP”.
Fishing for Leave’s policy paper calls for the entire EU fleet to be excluded from UK waters, and for the government to avoid adopting the CFP into UK law in its Great Repeal Bill. “I believe the government are just proposing a slight increase in quotas rather than full control - that’s not what we want,” Farage said.
“We want full sovereignty and all our resources. I fear that behind the scenes fishing is being used as a negotiating chip. I don’t think there is any will to stand up for our fishing community and take back full control of our waters,” he added.
“Brexit doesn’t mean Brexit if we don’t get back full control of our fisheries waters.”
The CFP was a “biological, environmental, economic and social disaster” Paterson said. “It is beyond reform. It is a system that has forced fishermen to throw back more fish dead into the sea than they land.”
The MP said other parts of the world had thriving fishing communities and marine environments based on flexible days-at-sea regimes and he criticised the EU quota regime as “completely insane”. “We have a wonderful opportunity to establish a completely new regime that will wholly revive our marine environment and bring back jobs and prosperity to some of our most remote communities.”