British fishermen would enjoy a far bigger share of the stocks around the island if we vote to leave the EU, says the country’s fisheries minister.
Speaking out of kilter with the party line peddled by Prime Minister David Cameron, George Eustice believes that ports which lie idle for much of the year could soon be thriving again outside of the EU, as they would be able to target far more fish like cod, plaice, whiting, coalfish and haddock.
Eustice says that Britain would be able to force French trawlers, among others, out of its waters unless they agreed to a fundamental renegotiation to deals struck back in the 1970s, which many in the commercial fishing industry blame for its demise and the subsequent breaking up of communities.
Indeed Eustice believes the industry has had to suffer ‘historic unfairness’. He also thinks that British shoppers would prefer the fish they bought to have been caught by British fishermen.
Last year the UK allocation for cod in the Celtic Sea, an area of the Atlantic off the south coast of Ireland, was 834 metric tons compared with 5,500mt for France.For plaice in the English Channel, the UK was permitted 1,300mt to France’s 2,600mt. In the eastern Channel, the UK received an allocation of 670mt of Dover sole and France 1,875mt. Eustice thinks that it should be “roughly 50-50.”