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Sharon Bowles MEP ramps up the pressure at EU for fishermen

August 3, 2009

Sharon and Paul JoySharon Bowles, Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East of England, has criticized EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes on behalf of local fishermen in Hastings & Rye.

Earlier this year Ms Bowles asked the Competition Commissioner to investigate the fairness of the quota system in respect of producer organisations, and whether the UK Government was acting illegally in respect of the under-10 metre sector.

Re-elected in June as an MEP, and having landed one of the top scrutiny jobs at the EU – Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee – Ms Bowles is ramping up the pressure in order to get the case of the Hastings & Rye fishermen looked at properly.

Writing to Ms Kroes on 31 July, Sharon says –

‘I do not feel that you have sufficiently grappled with my complaint that the package of measures, taken as a whole, against the small boats, amounts to a cartel.

‘I regret that you have refused to deal with the issues that are within EU competence (ie, anti-competitive activity). Your implicit justification has been that the situation, as set up by the UK under its competency, demands that large boats and producer organisations engage in anti-competitive activity.

‘This situation is due to unfair distribution of quota by the UK government to boats that are incapable of themselves fishing in that area…

‘I was also disappointed that your letter did not at all address the matter of the UK government prohibiting small boats from having their own producer organisations, and therefore representation on committees.‘

Nick Perry, Lib Dem parliamentary hopeful for Hastings & Rye said,

“I know that Sharon is doing everything in her power to get the EU to come off the fence on this issue, condemn the practices of the UK Government in respect of our under-10 metre sector, and force a change to the UK’s policy. We can only get a response which is of use to our fishermen if we continue to fight for reform and justice within this system.”

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One Comment
  1. Great Blog!……There’s always something here to make me laugh…Keep doing what ya do 🙂

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