Sky News has doubled down on their apparent perspective that Britain’s already severely depressed coastal communities should be thrown to the dogs to sate the City of London in Brexit negotiations, challenging Brexit leader Nigel Farage on the matter twice in two days.
Speaking to the former UKIP leader at the European Parliament in Brussels, Sky News’s All Out Politics programme presenter Adam Boulton invited Mr. Farage to say that Britain’s fisheries were not of any importance and should be bargained away. The question prompted a strong response from Mr. Farage, calling control of Britain’s waters an “acid test” for Brexit.
Discussing the clear betrayal by the British government of Fishing, Farage said Thursday morning of the coming transition period: “You’ve got a 21 month period in which hundreds more British fishermen will go out of business – that’s how serious this is. And I didn’t hear from Michael Gove anything definite that at the end of transition we’re going to take back territorial waters.”
Farage Leads ‘Furious’ Thames Fish-Flinging Protest at Parliament Against Brexit Deal https://t.co/td7LZbRF0z
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 21, 2018
Challenging Farage on the importance of fishermen, Sky News anchor Boulton replied: “But isn’t it a simple truth that the British fishing industry is 1/200th of our national GDP?”
Clearly exasperated by the line of questioning, Farage hit back: “You can’t talk about a group of people like that! And for reason it is so small, is that 45 years ago, we traded our fisheries as a chip to join the Common Market!”
On the back foot, Boulton appealed to Mr. Farage’s own background in metals trading to persuade him to admit that fishing was not of primary concern to him, and should not be to the country. He replied: “What I’m saying is, you used to be a city trader, the city is very important to the British economy; if the city can get the sort of deal it wants on Brexit, isn’t it worth trading off the fishermen?”
Surrender to Brussels Agreed: Britain Obeys all EU Laws, no Control of Fisheries, Open Borders to 2020 https://t.co/FZTm4NGcWW
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 19, 2018
Making clear he would not be budged on the point, Farage said, before Boulton moved the conversation onto why the Salisbury attack meant Brexit should be reconsidered ,that more than just concern about coastal communities, taking back control of fisheries was a matter of principle, stating: “Think fisheries, our territorial waters, are the ultimate acid test of Brexit.
“Are we going to take back what is rightfully ours, or aren’t we? This isn’t actually about money, it is about sovereignty, it is about why we voted to leave.”
Farage Slams Sky Journo For Suggesting Fishermen be Sacrificed for Banking https://t.co/APpi65HmbK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 22, 2018
The callous line of questioning was the second time in 24 hours that Sky News had attempted to draw Mr. Farage away from supporting Britain’s fishing communities. Breitbart London reported on Wednesday that Sky News editor Beth Rigby told the Brexit leader because fishing was a comparatively small part of the economy compared to banking, it could be forgotten in negotiations.
“Oh, to hell with them then!” blasted Farage in response, sarcastically rejecting the notion that coastal, working-class communities are expendable in order to protect urban, high tech industries and the multi-national financial sector.
The discussions come days after Britain and the European Union’s Brexit lead negotiators held a joint press conference in Brussels, announcing a new transition period deal, with more bad news for fishing communities. Not only would the UK not resume control of its territorial waters and the fish in them, but the proportion of fish that UK fishermen are allowed to catch from their own waters under EU laws would not change through the transition — leaving EU flagged ships still grabbing the lion’s share of the haul.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 16, 2015
This development was paradoxically praised as “protecting the interests of the United Kingdom’s fishing community”.
Speaking to Breitbart London after exchanges on Sky News, pro-Brexit group Fishing for Leave said: “The denigration and dismissal of the worth of Britian’s fishing industry and coastal communities as justification to use Britain’s greatest natural renewable resource as negotiating capital to appease the EU, such as the goverment’s capitulation to the EU demand to re-obey the CFP as part of the transition after we officially leave, is an appalling attitude that spits on thousands of hard working folk fighting for survival.
“Leaving the EU meant an automatic repatriation of all our resources under international law – this would double the worth of the industry to £6-8bn, supporting rural coastal communities and creating tens of thousands of jobs, if the EU demanded the surrender of £6-8bn and tens from the city there would be riots in parliament. – not so for “grubby” leave voters in the provinces.”