London Fisheries Convention

11th July 2017

In my last column, only 2 weeks ago, I reported back from Westminster that our negotiations to leave the European Union had commenced. Since then the Government has taken a historic first step in giving effect to the country’s desire to take back control and repatriate our industries from Brussels. Last week, this was embodied in the announcement by the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, that Britain will be withdrawing from the London Fisheries Convention.

The London Fisheries Convention allows vessels from five European countries to fish within six and 12 nautical miles of the UK’s coastline. It sits alongside the EU Common Fisheries Policy, which allows all European vessels access between 12 and 200 nautical miles of the UK and sets quotas for how much fish each nation can catch.

When we leave the EU, we will no longer be bound by the deeply flawed Common Fisheries Policy but without action, restrictions under the historic London Fisheries Convention would still apply. By withdrawing from the London Fisheries Convention we will no longer be bound by the existing access agreements and will provide our neighbours with legal certainty and clarity during the negotiations.

This decision means that our fishing fleets in Northern Devon can be confident that this Government is working towards formulating a domestic fishing policy which works in their interests. A policy which keeps sustainability at the forefront and is fair and profitable for all our fishermen.

The vote to leave the EU gives us an unparalleled chance to design policies that are tailored to the needs of our fishing industry, rather than the needs of 28 different countries, and allows us to put a new fisheries regime in place for the benefit of our fishermen through the Fisheries Bill. For the fishing fleet in Northern Devon, this is the beginning of a process that I am determined will contribute to the revival of our coastal communities with an enlarged and prosperous fishing industry employing more local people. Britain has a world-class fishing industry with a proud heritage, and I am determined to ensure that its future will be equally bright.

Surgery Dates

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2017

 
Saturday 21st October
Holsworthy, Tavistock
 
Saturday 4th November
Bideford, Torrington