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Has the Tory EU veto sunk our fishermen?

December 12, 2011

Nick delivered a 4,000-strong petition in support of our fishermen

Nick Perry, the Lib Dem parliamentary spokesperson for Hastings & Rye, has spoken of his concerns that the Prime Minister’s decision to use his veto at last week’s EU summit may scupper attempts to get a fairer deal for local fishermen.

Nick, who presented a 4,000 signature petition demanding fairer quotas for the under-10m fleet to Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon MP soon after the formation of the Coalition, said:

“I have been cautiously optimistic about the progress that has been made by our Lib Dem MEPs at Brussels, and by the efforts of Amber and the DEFRA Select Committee in partnership with local fishermen. I particularly welcomed the Select Committee’s visit to Hastings last week. But all this work may come to nothing if Britain loses its voice in key EU negotiations.

“We know how well the French and the Spanish advocate for their inshore fleets when the crunch comes. We need Britain to have more clout not less as the Common Fisheries Policy is reformed. I am afraid that Mr Cameron has signally failed to anticipate various unintended consequences for his veto. I only hope that our fishermen will not lose out because of it.”

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