Difference between revisions of "Hard Brexit Would Mean More And Cheaper British Fish - But There s A Catch"
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Latest revision as of 16:36, 13 September 2019
A hard Brexit that banned EU fishermen from UK waters would lead to many more fish being landed by British boats and a corresponding drop in prices, according to new economic analysis.youtube.com But there’s a catch. Two-thirds of the fish UK consumers eat are imported from overseas, and the costs of those would rise, due to the trade barriers resulting from a hard Brexit. Moreover, the fall in the price of UK fish would lead to a drop in earnings for UK fishermen. Overall, the analysis shows closing the UK’s sea borders would be a "lose-lose situation" for both UK and EU consumers and fishing industries. The issue of fishing has become one of the most highly charged Brexit issues. The current EU system is perceived as unfair, with vessels from other EU nations landing 10 times more fish from UK waters than vice versa.
Ministers have said UK boats will catch hundreds of thousands of tonnes more fish after Brexit. But fishermen have repeatedly expressed fears that the ministers will not "take back control" of UK waters, but instead will trade away access to British waters in exchange for access to other markets. The new analysis was conducted by researchers at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in the Netherlands, rated the world’s top university for agricultural research. It found that 10-15% more fish would be landed by UK vessels in the hard Brexit scenario from 2020-2025, worth £250m over the period. But this increased supply would push prices down, and overall the UK fleet would earn less, the study indicated. Furthermore, the UK imports almost twice as much fish as it exports, with the top five being cod, tuna, prawns, salmon and haddock.
The impact of a hard Brexit on trade would make these more expensive, the researchers found. The impact would also hit UK fish farms, which export most of their products, and the fish processing industry, which relies on imports. "While the domestic fish price goes down, the price of the imported fish goes up quite a lot," said Heleen Bartelings at WUR. ] and processed fish products - both become more expensive. She said the apparent opportunity for the UK to "cash in" by closing marine borders is scotched by the analysis. "Overall, the advantage of an increased fish access is completely outweighed by the costs of protectionism," the report concluded. The EU nations that would be most affected by the end of access to UK waters in the analysis were Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands, whose fishing fleets catch 35-45% of their fish in UK.
Ireland also imports a lot of fish from the UK. "The Irish consumers will lose out the most, as we see fish prices there rising up to 9%," said Bartelings.youtube.com But fisherman Aaron Brown, founder of the Fishing for Leave group, disagrees that the UK would lose out from a hard Brexit: "We regain approximately 600,000 tonnes net from a clean Brexit. "If the UK regains what should be rightfully her resources, implements new UK policy to address both EU and domestic failings, then the future can be very bright for British fishing," he said. The WUR analysis employed a widely used economic model and also tested to see how much changing the necessary assumptions affected their conclusions. The overall "lose-lose" outcome of a hard Brexit in fisheries remained in all circumstances, with only the scale of losses being different. "We have good trust in our results," said Bartelings.
At the time we were in the Falklands our two children were in secondary school - they boarded in Scotland and then came down on holiday, so it was a fantastic experience. Our son David followed his old man into the Navy and also followed his old man in mine clearance diving. Our daughter, Hannah, joined the Navy as a trauma nurse. She served in the major war zones of Iraq and Iran and Libya and now works - talking of adventure - as a medic in the offshore industry in the North Sea. A. Yes, we spent three glorious years, really interesting years in Naples, at the NATO southern headquarters, at the time Bosnia Herzegovina was reaching stability and things were kicking off in Kosovo.
It was an incredibly interesting time to be down there in the NATO headquarters and, of course, you could do worse than spend three years in southern Italy, which we enjoyed. Q. You're now CEO of the Scottish Fishing Federation. When did you take up that role? A. In 2005. It was an interesting choice. My wife actually spotted the advert just as I was coming to the end of my naval career. I applied and got the job. And it's been a fantastic roller-coaster ride ever since. I was, for all my working life up to that point, a mariner.
I know about small ships, I know about sea-going, I know the challenges. I was absolutely fascinated by the fishing industry. It's a very distinctive industry. You don't do that unless you're a special sort of person. I found the fishing industry something I was very happy to be working with and for. A sustainable, successful, prosperous fishing industry is something well and truly worth fighting for and that's what I've been doing for the last 14 years. Q. And, unlike many other sectors, the fishing industry is looking forward to Brexit? A. We are. Whatever anybody thinks of the other aspects of Brexit, the one thing that the UK got a really, really bad deal on, in the EU, was fishing.
Q. This meant that a number of other EU member states could fish in UK waters? A. Yes. The long distance fleets died and we were not allowed to build up fishing under the laws on common access to the EU. So that was really bad. But Brexit, of course, removes that because we then revert to what is normal for the rest of the world, which is sovereignty over your own waters and sovereignty over the resources inside them. That was never going to happen inside Europe because the bargain of a lifetime had been given to the other seven or eight member states who fish in our waters.
The bargain of a lifetime. And that would never have been negotiated away. We wouldn't if we were them and they certainly wouldn't do it for us. So Brexit is therefore the biggest possible deal for our fishing industry, because the comparative figures are really striking. Norway keeps in the order of 85% of its fish, its natural capital fished by its own fleets. For Iceland it's even better still - the figure would be north of 90%. In the United Kingdom it's 40%, with 60% given away to the EU under the arrangements of the Common Fisheries Policy. So that's why it's such a big deal. For the UK's fishing industry, Brexit is a sea of opportunity. Q. Do you liaise with representatives of the fishing industry in Northern Ireland?
A. Yes. We spent last Wednesday in Westminster with the big federations in the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland, lobbying our MPs - my old friend Alan McCulla (chief executive of Sea Source based in Kilkeel) was there. And we had cross-party support. Interestingly, while the matter of Brexit couldn't be more divisive at present, there's nobody I've found, across all the parties, across coastal areas and inland areas, who disagrees with the fishing industry of the UK getting a better deal. And certainly there was great support from all the Northern Ireland MPs who turned up to offer their backing. The only one who couldn't be there was Sammy Wilson, who had another engagement. But I'd met him that morning and he explained that he couldn't be at the event and he offered us his full support.
Q. Do you feel that overall the fishing industry is the UK's forgotten industry? That, despite its importance to a so-called island nation, it does seem to get a bit overlooked. A. It does. Although I think with the Brexit campaign it has recaptured the public's imagination. We are an island nation. Just look at the map. For God's sake, we're sitting in the middle of the northern continental shelf, which has some of the best fishing grounds in the world. And international law says: "This is all yours." And, of course, fish and seafood is important worldwide. Around 16 or 17% of the world's protein comes from the sea.
So we look forward to the day when we are restored as a world class, sustainable seafood producer. And that's very exciting. It would be very big indeed. We would overtake Iceland, for instance, on the world stage of seafood nations. That would be good for everybody, for all aspects of the industry, all across the whole supply chain and for boats large and small. Everyone would benefit from being part of a world class industry and all that that would mean for markets. Q. So are you confident you're going to get a Brexit deal which will deliver this?
A. The decision making process, the negotiation, is not over. It would be most unwise of me to make a prediction of success at this stage. What we want to do is hold the government to the fire. Right now, and I'm quite proud of this, we've got this into the public eye. Q. The issue of marine litter and plastic in the sea is currently commanding a lot of attention. Could more be done there? A. When I first went to sea, everything went over the side. Those were the rules. For all of us, we can do our bit by not putting stuff in the sea ourselves.
From the fishing industry, the stuff that ends up in the sea is a small percentage. There was an interesting statistic recently that revealed that the biggest inputer of plastic into the seas came from tyre rubber, of all things. It ends up washed by the rain into rivers and then into the sea. So that has to be worked on. We support a scheme where, when you haul your net, if there's anything there that shouldn't be in the sea, you don't put it back. You bring it ashore. Q. Do you get back to visit Northern Ireland often? A. Not very much. In my early days in the Navy, because I was part of the Armed Forces and because my old man was in the RUC, I wasn't allowed to go back to Northern Ireland for a long period. But those days have gone now, of course. I'd like to spend a bit more time rediscovering Ulster. I'm occasionally there for matters fishing and I do my little walks around memory lane round the middle of Belfast. The whole thing has changed - absolutely stood on its head, which is very encouraging. And that really is great to see.
At the same time, it continues supporting administrations in their own preparations and urges all EU citizens and businesses to continue informing themselves about the consequences of a possible "no-deal" scenario and to complete their no-deal preparedness. This follows the European Council (Article 50) conclusions last week calling for work to be continued on preparedness and contingency. While a "no-deal" scenario is not desirable, the EU is prepared for it. While the European Union continues to hope that it will not be the case, this means that if the Withdrawal Agreement is not ratified by Friday 29 March, a "no-deal" scenario may occur on 12 April.
The EU has prepared for this scenario and has remained united throughout its preparations. It is now important that everyone is ready for and aware of the practical consequences a "no-deal" scenario brings. In a "no-deal" scenario, the UK will become a third country without any transitionary arrangements. All EU primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the UK from that moment onwards. There will be no transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement. This will obviously cause significant disruption for citizens and businesses. In such a scenario, the UK's relations with the EU would be governed by general international public law, including rules of the World Trade Organisation. The EU will be required to immediately apply its rules and tariffs at its borders with the UK. This includes checks and controls for customs, sanitary and phytosanitary standards and verification of compliance with EU norms.
Despite the considerable preparations of the Member States' customs authorities, these controls could cause significant delays at the border. UK entities would also cease to be eligible to receive EU grants and to participate in EU procurement procedures under current terms. Similarly, UK citizens will no longer be citizens of the European Union. They will be subject to additional checks when crossing borders into the European Union. Again, Member States have made considerable preparations at ports and airports to ensure that these checks are done as efficiently as possible, but they may nevertheless cause delays. Since December 2017, the European Commission has been preparing for a "no-deal" scenario.
It has published 90 preparedness notices, 3 Commission Communications, and has made 19 legislative proposals (see below). The Commission has held extensive technical discussions with the EU27 Member States both on general issues of preparedness and contingency work and on specific sectorial, legal and administrative preparedness issues. The Commission has now also completed its tour of the capitals of the 27 EU Member States. The aim of these visits was to provide any necessary clarifications on the Commission's preparedness and contingency action and to discuss national preparations and contingency plans. The visits showed a high degree of preparation by Member States for all scenarios.
Member States have also been engaged in intensive national preparations. An overview of residency rights in the EU27 Member States is available here, as well as direct links to national preparedness websites. To date, the Commission has tabled 19 legislative proposals. 17 proposals have been adopted or agreed by the European Parliament and the Council. Formal adoption of all those files by the European Parliament and Council is currently taking place. Two proposals are to be finalised by the two co-legislators in due course. The EU has maintained - and will continue to maintain - a fully united position throughout its preparations, and during any possible "no-deal" period. Fishing rights and compensation: these measures provide for compensation for fishermen and operators from EU Members States under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for the temporary cessation of fishing activities.
Air connectivity and safety: these two measures will ensure basic air connectivity in order to avoid full interruption of air traffic between the EU and the UK in the event of a "no-deal" scenario. Road connectivity: allows for the continuation of safe basic road connectivity between the EU and the UK for a limited period of time, provided that the UK gives reciprocal treatment to EU companies and operators. Rail connectivity: ensures the validity of safety authorisations for certain parts of rail infrastructure for a strictly limited period of three months to allow long-term solutions in line with EU law to be put in place.
This is, in particular, related to the Channel Tunnel and will be conditional on the United Kingdom maintaining safety standards identical to EU requirements. Ship inspections: this aims to ensure legal certainty and secure business continuity in shipping. Climate policy: this measure ensures that a "no-deal" scenario does not affect the smooth functioning and the environmental integrity of the Emissions Trading System. UK's withdrawal can complete their studies and continue to receive the relevant funding or grants. United Kingdom before withdrawal) of those people who exercised their right to free movement before the UK's withdrawal are safeguarded. Visa reciprocity (in the process of final adoption): visa-free travel to the EU for UK nationals if the UK also grants reciprocal and non-discriminatory visa-free travel to all EU citizens.
As regards the need for financial resources and/or technical assistance, the EU's existing State aid rules make it possible to address problems encountered by businesses in the case of a "no-deal" Brexit. By way of example, State aid rules permit consultancy aid for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or training aid which could be used to assist with SMEs preparedness (including possible future custom formalities). The Rescue and Restructuring Guidelines contain provisions on temporary restructuring support schemes for SMEs, which could be useful to address their liquidity problems caused by Brexit. Access to finance is possible in various formats, e.g. through State-financed lending schemes respecting the reference rate or State guarantees under the guarantee notice (contact point available here).
Technical and financial assistance from the European Union can also be made available in certain areas, such as the training of customs officials under the Customs 2020 programme. Other programmes can help similar training projects in the area of sanitary and phytosanitary controls. For agriculture, EU law provides a variety of instruments to cope with the most immediate effects of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, in particular in a no-deal scenario. The European Commission has published 90 sector-specific preparedness notices. They provide detailed guidance to the different sectors affected by Brexit. They are available online here. For more information: what should I do in a "no-deal" scenario? To know more about how to prepare for a "no-deal" scenario, EU citizens can contact Europe Direct for any questions. The Commission published today a series of reader-friendly factsheets in all EU languages.
THIS is the dramatic moment a British trawler went up in flames after reportedly being petrol bombed by rival French fishermen in a war over scallops. Another shocking video shows a Brit fishing boat ramming a French vessel after it dangerously cut across its path in the English Channel. French vessels have been dragging ropes through the water in an attempt to get them caught in prop shafts of Brit trawlers, endangering lives and vessels. There are also claims French fisherman threw petrol bombs at their British counterparts in the sea battle. Others have been targeted by stone throwing French fishermen who were last night accused of piracy as tensions increased.
Footage obtained by The Sun shows the 90ft Honeybourne III ramming into a rival trawler as it cuts in front and stop if from fishing legitimately for scallops. The Honeybourne III is based in Shoreham, West Sussex, and owned by Aberdeen based MacDuff Fisheries and regularly operates in the Channel. According to French media, fishing vessels had set off from Trouville-sur-Mer, Port-en-Bessin and Ouistreham to confront the English. French boats only have the right to fish for scallops from October 1 until May 15 to allow local stocks to regenerate but the British do not face the same restrictions. Last night Jim Portus of the South West Fish Producers Organisation, which handles the Honeybourne III told The Sun:What happened was the equivalent of piracy from the French. The skipper of the Honeybourne was forced to carry out defensive action in the face of determined French aggression.
This all boils down to the French not wanting us there but we have every right. This has nothing to do with Brexit. It is just the French being intransigent. This has been going on for 20 years now and we are perfectly entitled to fish in that area as are the Irish and Belgians. They want us outside the area but we are perfectly entitled to be there so we suggested talks they refused and instead resorted to piracy. We are aware of reports of aggression directed towards UK fishing vessels in an area of the English Channel not under UK control.
"These vessels were operating in an area they are legally entitled to fish. We expect all vessels licensed to operate in EU waters to respect the right of others to do so. Last night the Honeybourne was mid Channel en route to Shoreham and expected to dock later today. In 2009 the ship was in the headlines after a previous skipper George Wood was fined £3000 after he grounded the boat while twice the drink drive limit following an evening boozing for his birthday. We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team?youtube.com Click here to upload yours.