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Nick🇬🇧🇪🇺 @nicktolhurst
, 14 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
1/ Small thread on Fish - hot topic of the day & cause of so many angy replies on my Timeline.
The big question: How can it be that an industry that has less full time employees than a village - circa 8 500 people - be so controversial?
How can this be driving our #Brexit future?
2/ first some context - not only does fishing (traditionally understood) employ barely a village - but this is not new.

UKs fishermen great decline happened post WWII but pre EEC.

In economic terms fishing is barely 0.1% of UK GDP!… chap 1, table 1.2
3/ Next the UK imports much of the fish it eats & exports much of the fish it catches - there are complex reasons for this but a main one is taste.

Thats how trade works.

UK doesnt import fish "because of EU", it imports fish because it prefers to do so rather than eat its own.
4/ More people are employed in fish processing industry than as "fishermen". Its amazing how many dont get this -& is heavily EU single mkt dependent! -trade, travel, EU workers etc

#Brexit as policy to save fishing industry risks larger process industry…
5/ Fishing sustainability while not perfect has been successful but depends on int cooperation - not just EU but obviously EU important for N Atlantic - where UK is.

Post #Brexit UK needs int coop to ensure "our" fish stocks survive, because what many Leave voters dont get......
6/ There is no such thing as "British fish" - fish move.

If UK doesnt join shared fish stock managment it is as likely to lose as to gain. We arent in 19th century anymore. Fishing is big, industrialised & international.

In reality the Govt knows this - it just cant admit it.
7/ In reality it makes no sense for UK to fish unsustainably in "its own waters" to "spite europeans" -& it makes no sense for Europeans to do so either to spite UK.

A deal will be done & it will look a lot like...what we have it makes sense!…
8/ Now the "Scottish angle" - altho Scots voted remain its they that fish in "Scottish waters". England (who voted leave) traditionally catches its fish in Irish, French & Norway waters as well as in UK.

Now you see the problem...
9/ English fishermen -Brexit campaign stalwarts -actually need to get agreement so they can continue fishing EU waters....& #Brexit which may lead to Scottish Independence risks losing much of UK waters English fishermen thought "belonged to them".

Again the media forget this..
10/ Tariffs - UK fishing industry depends heavily on EU exports.
Britain exports £92m of fish (incl. £220m salmon) to the EU in 2015 & imported £775m. France & Spain would have incentives to demand high tariffs on fish imports from the UK - shld no agreement on quotas be reached.
11/ So UK needs a deal to reduce risk of:
1 depletion of its stocks outside of CFP
2 EU tariffs
3 damage to fish process industy
4 Loss of access to traditional waters

So with this in mind why is UK going crazy over an indsutry employing roughly same nr of people as opticians?
12/ Fishing important in #brexit political terms:
1 simple industry idea to communicate
2 harks back to idealised past
3 sustain. fish management clashes with ideas of strict borders
4 old ideas abt how trade works

It’s romanticism as policy - its 19th century village patriotism

Or to be less polite....
...risking your industry, trade to world's biggest trade bloc & UK sustainable fishing grounds to try & increase the number of UK fishermen by a few hundred in a job many dont want to do now in an industry barely 0.1% of GDP is....


Small Addendum to point " /10 " as there was a slight typo!:

Should have been "Britain exports £920m of fish (incl. £220m salmon).

But im sure you all got that!
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