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The great fishing foul-up


FIGHTING the battle for our nation is extremely difficult as the forces against us are huge. The Save Britain’s Fish campaign is no exception, starting with Labour MP Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby) and then myself, a period of well over 50 years.

It is a strange phenomenon that telling the truth about what is happening and will happen is not always appreciated. In fact, it can work against you as many hear only what they want to hear, and switch off, only to wake up when the event has passed.

Now the fishing campaign has become Fishing for Leave, but the same problem prevails, how do you portray the facts in a neutral manner without appearing to favour one side or the other?

That is difficult because the main political parties are disappointing in the extreme, and the European Union who have tied the UK up in knots are also starting to make mistakes. Fishing for Leave have to campaign for rights under international and European law, and however unpopular we have to go by facts, just as this website, The Conservative Woman, has to. One has no pleasure in pointing out where we are heading, but it must be remembered we had a Parliament that supported the 2016 referendum, to carry out the wishes of the people. The same Parliament endorsed the use of Article 50, but then we entered the period of not knowing who stood where.

The Scottish and Welsh nationalists want to be free of the UK but be subservient to the EU. The SNP, whose population is smaller than that of Yorkshire, is prepared to hold England to ransom. The Liberal Democrats are not democrats, agreeing to carry out the people’s wishes only if you agree with them. The Labour Party, with money falling from the skies with the autumn leaves, think a new deal can be achieved in six months in order to have another referendum on Remain or Deal. Will the Electoral Commission allow a referendum with both questions on the same side of the fence? I question the Greens’ environmental credentials as they don’t support us on environmental fishing issues. Then we have the Conservatives, who claim a wonderful deal. May lost over three years and Boris is trying to pick up the pieces. But come on, Boris, it is not a good deal, taking us into any transitional period is fraught with danger: no say, no input, ECJ control and accept what is thrown at us.

Parliament has pitted the people against each other, and that is all of Parliament. Can anyone say what the individual members of the past Parliament really stood for? Members paralysed themselves, no one believing what they pretended to stand for as certain individuals pursued their own agenda.

When I wrote the booklet ‘The Betrayal of Britain’s Fishing to the EU’ before the referendum, the last paragraph I put was ‘Parliament has failed not just our fishermen; it has failed our country’. Now we are seeing the EU do the same. It is evident that to get what they want from the UK over fisheries, they will flout the rules.

What is happening to the UK and EU? Next year will see the battle over marine resources, a subject many said was irrelevant, yet it is a subject that could blow everything apart. Thanks to sites such as TCW, whatever happens on December 12, at least readers can say, ‘We knew that would happen and why’, which is more than our political masters across Europe can say. Since starting in politics in 1962 I have never seen such an unbelievable mess, all of our own making. It is not too late, and it is up to the electorate to hold the new Parliament to account.

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John Ashworth
John Ashworth
John Ashworth has worked all his life in the Fishing Industry, as a gear designer and manufacturer. He spent 20 years working on fishing vessels around the world, and promoted environmental issues, He led the Save Britain's Fish campaign through the nineties and early twenties and is now part of Fishing for Leave.

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