Iceland’s in the EU now, is it?

Brussels has warned Britain that Brexit will stop its people eating fish and chips unless the UK caves to EU demands to fish its waters.

Theresa May on Thursday told MPs she had “firmly rejected” a demand for access to fisheries in return for a UK-EU trade deal.

Minutes later, Sabine Weyand, the European Union’s deputy Brexit negotiator, tweeted that a fisheries agreement was “in the best interests of both sides” and shared research that showed Britain needs EU imports of cod and haddock to keep eating fish and chips.

35 comments on “Iceland’s in the EU now, is it?

  1. They steal our fish and sell them back to us?

    And that is “in the best interests of both sides”?

    May I draw your attention to the other leg which has an interesting array of tintinnabula attached.

  2. Why does the UK need a ‘fisheries agreement’ to buy Cod off them? Does this idiot Sabine woman really think we believe the EU is going to prevent us buying fish from their member states?

    They just act like spoilt children and our idiot PM indulges them.

  3. What fleet does the UK have left?

    British fishing failed in a freer market, that is all. So you can have territorial waters, resource nationalism as TimN put it, but if you don’t have the people capable of exploiting it it will just sit there.

    So, post-brexit, license it. All vessels British or not, can fish where they like (for a fee, and considering stocks), and all vessels may land catch where they please. Whynot?

  4. Only British fishing did not fail. It was,until the “common resource” a successful industry and if you consider Scottish fisheries even after then.
    The reason there were failures was due to things like restrictive quotas, days at sea etc. Which made it impossible to make a living although they managed by diversifying catches.
    The problem with the CFP is not just that we are sharing what is actually ours but who we are sharing it with. The Latin countries have fished the Med dry, they have destroyed stocks on the Grand Banks and nearly did the same in the North Atlantic and North Sea.
    Were we sharing with Norwegians, Icelanders, Swedes and Danes then the issue might be less of an issue but the Spanish and the cheese eating surrender monkeys are not as reasonable

  5. BIG – there’s nothing free about the EU fishing market – you should know that!

    The reason British fishing declined so quickly was the British quotas were given to the Spanish – they negotiated that as a condition when they joined the EU. In fact, getting access to British fishing waters was one of the main reasons they wanted to join.

  6. Dongguan John: “They just act like spoilt children and our idiot PM indulges them.”

    Well, she’s had a lot of practice, with her Cabinet.

  7. Fred,

    Other people managed to fish profitably, even under the same byzantine restrictions, so I can only assume it was largely due to lack of efficiency. Something that was hardly in short supply in any sector of British industry in 1973.

  8. As far as I’m aware, the only fishing waters harbour cod belonging to a post-Brixit EU are Irish, Portuguese & of course Spain. Faroe Islands may be Danish, but not in the EU.
    It’s been bloody obvious that a big loser from the UK exiting the EU & the CFP is going to be Spain. Not because they lose the opportunity to sell back to the Brits their own cod, but because the Spanish consume a great deal more fish than the Brits do. Much of it bacalao.
    My guess is this is going to be a contentious issue here, sometime in the future. The Spanish are used to seeing the big wet-fish counters of their supermarkets laden down with affordable seafood. They see less choice & higher prices because the Spanish government’s joining in some EU trade blockade against the UK, they’re going to be mighty pissed with their own politicians. Not to mention the damage to the Spanish fishing industry & the havoc over in Murcia when the Costa del Plastico loses the market for all its salad veg.
    It’s something the arseholes in Brussels don’t seem to be figuring in. They don’t cut some sort of reasonable exit deal with the UK, there’ll be industries & people right across Europe hurting
    We’re already seeing some of the effects here. The Brits are already pretty well out of the housing market & for those living here the fall in the pound’s put a big crimp in their Euro spending. It wouldn’t take much to encourage a lot to f-off altogether. Quite a few already are. I know if I get fucked around too much, bloke in spain’s going to be posting as bloke in south america, smartish. To me the EU negotiating position looks a lot like somebody standing on a cliff-edge & threatening to jump if he don’t get his own way. Not far down the road, the national governments are going to be facing some distinctly pissed off electorates.

  9. bis…

    I feel like the EU got so caught up in the excitement of screwing the UK they’ve missed the bigger picture.

    This ‘agreement’ that we’ve seen from leaked emails that they’re all backslapping about, it seems not only did they consider the consequences to their member states as you say but also didn’t consider how the hell that is suppossed to get through parliament and if it does what the future consequences are. What if this unequal treaty results in an ultra nationalist government being elected, ripping up the treaty and doing whatever it can to make the EU suffer? Did they learn nothing from history about humiliating other nations?

    They might be very clever but they’re unwise.

  10. There is the other explanation, DG.
    That the entire performance is kabuki theatre, in concert with the May government, to get the British electorate to accept a BRINO.
    That’s what my money’s on. And said money will definitely be headed across the Atlantic. Because I’m beginning to think Europe, anywhere in Europe, is starting to be a very dangerous place to be. When you have a political class this antagonistic to those they’re supposed to serve, it’s going to end in tears.

  11. bloke in spain

    You are not wrong in your assessment – I think events in Moscow in the late 80s are a glimpse into the EU’s future. Even now though there are still those nostalgic for the USSR, and no doubt there will still be Remainiacs clinging to that ring of stars long after one of the 5 current crises or some undetermined future crisis has destroyed the EU.

  12. @Dongguan John
    “What if this unequal treaty results in an ultra nationalist government being elected, ripping up the treaty and doing whatever it can to make the EU suffer? Did they learn nothing from history about humiliating other nations?”
    Lets hope that happens.

    @bloke in spain
    If I were you I would be in Central America (Panama sounds attractive) already

    @Fred and @Raffles,

    Very true the quotas killed the British fishing industry and their own stupidity in not attacking the CFP before we joined because they thought that when Norway joined they would get the chance to fish in Norwegian waters (it didn’t happen)

  13. There was no fishing policy before we joined.
    It was added as a principle during Ted Heath’s negotiations. He was warned that he was giving away control but pressed on anyway.

  14. Another thought about the British fishing fleet. It’s been so hollowed out by the CFP, if we get back British waters, there won’t be enough boats to actually catch the allowed amount of fish.

    OK, there’s a shortage, prices go up, so more boats are commissioned, but that doesn’t happen overnight. There’s also the knowledge required to successfully fish, and the processing plants that have vanished.

    We may have to temporarily grant quotas to EU boats just to keep fish available on the shelves.

  15. @Raffles
    I’d imagine this is one of those things markets neatly take care of.
    On the day the UK exits the EU & the CFP, the fish are still there to catch & consumers ready to eat them. If the boats were catching fish in UK waters are no longer doing so,what are they doing? If there was an advantage fishing somewhere else, they’d already be doing it. So there’ll be boats available to buy or hire. Likewise idle crewmen available to man them.
    So, initially, the UK can license foreign boats with foreign crews to fish in UK waters. Where it goes from there is up to the UK. Carry on using foreign boats & labour. Rebuild the UK fishing industry. If it’s sensible, the UK government lets markets decide. But it is a UK decision about UK waters.
    Far too sensible a solution for politicians, of course. They’ll prefer to fuck it up.

  16. Maybe foreign boats can catch the fish but they have to land them in the UK? Would that work? I don’t know the first thing about the fishing industry.

  17. It is surely in the government’s power to allow foreign vessels to land fish in British ports. If they were able to land their catch on March 31, why should they suddenly be unable to do so on April 1?

    Similarly, all those people declaring that there will be shortages of wine and drugs because the ports will have to inspect all shipments on April 1…why? Why not just continue with what they do now until a better solution is found?

  18. Dio

    “Similarly, all those people declaring that there will be shortages of wine and drugs because the ports will have to inspect all shipments on April 1…why? Why not just continue with what they do now until a better solution is found?”

    I confidently expect that every Jacques, Juan and Manfred involved in the supply chain will be pissing into any beverage destined for export to the UK after Brexit (if it ever comes).

  19. A bit OT but I’ve just done a search on the 585-page nonsense looking for references to EU/EC/EEC formal directives, regulations, decisions etc. Using pdftotext to get searchable text, then a bit of Regular Expression magic in Python looking for the telltale constructs and I ended up with 743 distinct directives, etc, that will govern the operation of the agreement/backstop. I may have missed a few.

    Whilst it will be manifestly sensible to accept some of these, it should be our decision in all cases whether to actually do that. Whereas the backstop in particular forces us to accept them on their terms.

  20. Theresa May’s negotiating stance reminds me of the slimy corporate executive who thought he could do a deal with Alan Rickman in DIE HARD

  21. Theresa May’s negotiating stance reminds me of the slimy corporate executive who thought he could do a deal with Alan Rickman in DIE HARD

    Dominic Raab in a white vest and no shoes….

  22. Given that May has given in on everything they have asked then if it was you wouldn’t you be thinking about how far you can push it while laughing all the way to the bank. Sad thing is the EU is acting rationally to the irrational behaviour of the U.K. govt.

  23. “Another thought about the British fishing fleet. It’s been so hollowed out by the CFP, if we get back British waters, there won’t be enough boats to actually catch the allowed amount of fish.”

    There’s plenty of capacity left in the UK fishing fleet. They’re only allowed out a few days a month at the best of times. There might be a shortage of people to man them, but I’m sure all those 3rd and 4th wave feminists will be itching to make the industry gender equal.

  24. Slightly OT.

    Guido has a post up where the Spanish PM is threatening to veto Brexit (its bollocks) over Gib and is saying his government will always defend the interests of Spain. (Fair enough, that what we normal people expect from our Government, defend the interests of their own populations.

    But where’s the outrage?

    Spanish PM – Spain first: Silence or even mild to enthusiastic applause in some quarters.

    Trump – America first: Moral outrage … literally Hitler .. impeach him.

  25. I see BBC is saying deal can’t be vetoed just by Spanish, I seem to recall repeated mentions after the referendum that all EU countries have to agree

  26. The Withdrawal Agreement can’t be vetoed by Spain (QMV), but any subsequent trade deal sure as hell can be. In some cases, even a region (never mind one of the 27) can veto a deal, as we saw with Wallonia and Canada.

    Yep, any future deal, on terms that aren’t significantly worse than this Withdrawal Deal, by the time all the vetoes are satisfied, really is just pie in the sky!

    And without any deal, we are most likely to be simply stuck in transition / backstop land, run by the EU with no say whatsoever.

    What a snivelling gutless traitor!

  27. I can’t believe they think this will get through parliament, has to be something going on where they want it to fail so they can do something else and point back to this and blame those that voted it down. May and the EU can’t be deluded enough to think they can swing this deal? Possibly use it as an excuse to ‘take it to the people’ if Parliament disagrees so that they can have a 2nd referendum which is designed to split the leave vote (stay as is/take deal/no deal) and then the EU will grudginly let withdraw article 50, provided we sign up for all steam ahead EU integration

  28. BniC

    I don’t think any theoretical 3 way process does split the In / Out vote? Because this deal with fall away first (imo). Hence, with STV, a straight play off between No Deal and Remain. With enough provocation (Brits don’t like being told to do it again until we get it right) I don’t see that as a slam dunk for Remain.

  29. A second referendum the Leave campaign wouldn’t even be about leaving. It would be “Are you soyboy beta cuck enough to let them do this?” I reckon Leave would win by a bigger margin than before. Polls show Leavers haven’t changed their minds (if anything there’s more of us now because the polls before the referendum were for Remain) and the insult of rerunning it ‘until you plebs vote correctly’ would likely turn many reluctant Remainers. Not to mention anyone with a brain has seen through project fear which is all they have.

  30. Theresa May’s negotiating stance…

    Theresa May’s negotiating stance is equivalent to the guy who says to a used car salesman “We really like the car and my wife will kill me if I don’t come home with it. Now, what’s your best price?”

  31. If Corbyn has any sense he’ll announce “The next labour party manifesto will contain a commitment to rip up this deal, even if it has been signed and ratified.”

    He’d win by a landslide.

    So hopefully it won’t come to that. The ideal scenario is that parliament rejects May’s Vichy-style surrender, and we get a nice, clean no-deal Brexit in March.

  32. @ Dongguan:

    ” Sad thing is the EU is acting rationally to the irrational behaviour of the U.K. govt.”

    The British government is behaving entirely rationally if you understand that they hate the British people.

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