Speaking at a reception held jointly in Parliament today by the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, DEFRA minister Robert Goodwill stated that ‘leaving the EU is a golden opportunity.’
The reception was opened by NFFO chief executive Barrie Deas, making plain the position of the two federations in backing the UK government to leave the Common Fisheries Policy.
‘We are delighted that the future opportunities for the UK fishing industry has become a core focus of Brexit, and the Government have made many significant promises that we will be a truly independent coastal state. But we are disappointed at the current delay in exiting the Common Fisheries Policy, and the prospect of an even longer delay if the Government and Parliament fail to agree a way forward,’ he said. ‘Leaving the EU means regaining control of our waters for the first time in 40 years. Our fishermen are absolutely right to look forward to life after the common fisheries policy,’ DEFRA minister Robert Goodwill said, commenting that he sees this as ‘a golden opportunity to secure a fairer share of fish for our fishermen and set out a sustainable future for our fisheries.’
Also speaking that the reception, shadow fisheries minister Luke Pollard gave the industry his backing and called for the Fisheries Bill to be completed in Parliament.
‘The sea of opportunity is just over the horizon and within our grasp,’ said SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong, closing the meeting.
‘Outside the CFP, the British fishing industry will be a global leader. Our members will produce world-class, sustainable seafood from our rich UK waters. This will bring prosperity to coastal communities and secure a long term future for the industry in all parts of the UK.’