North Cornwall MP Scott Mann has urged government ministers to leave the Common Fisheries Policy in March 2019 when the UK leaves the European Union.
Leading a debate in Parliament on the future of fishing in Britain, Scott said that the UK must leave the CFP when the Article 50 process ends and that fishing should not be part of a transition deal.
Scott Mann said:
“Ideally, at 11 pm on 29 March 2019, we need to have absolute and 100% control of our fisheries, without it being part of any implementation or transition deal. If not, we could lock ourselves into future EU treaties and regulations, including the discard ban, which could see many of the boats that currently work in the UK going bankrupt.”
The discard ban is currently being introduced by the EU, which would see boats having to tie up as soon as they exhaust their lowest fish quota. There are concerns that continued membership of the CFP during the implementation period could see the discard ban badly affecting British boats.
Scott Mann said:
“One of the hardest things to see, as a member of the public, is dead fish being thrown back into the ocean due to a dysfunctional and rigid EU quota-based system. The discard ban could have huge ramifications for our fisheries.”
Mr Mann added that if fishing is included in a transitional deal, then there must be a clear mechanism for ending EU jurisdiction over fishing.
“If, however, the Government enter into a transitional or implementation period that includes fisheries, there must be a clear and final termination clause so that the UK fishing fleet is not part of any EU treaty or regulation.”
Responding to the debate, Fisheries Minister George Eustice said the Government planned to leave the CFP in March 2019 and that preparations were underway for leaving the EU and implementing a new post-Brexit management model.