This weekend Michael Gove set up a dubious smokescreen by claiming a new dawn for our fishing industry and that he would take back all historic fishing rights round our coast. Secretly he was sending a letter to Mrs May (with Boris Johnson as a co signatory) to push for crashing out of the EU with no deal!
‘No deal’ would mean that an area like Cornwall, where the biggest industry and earner is dairy farming and it’s food products, would be hammered by a World Trade Organisation tariff of 36%! The rise in cost of Cornish clotted cream, milk and cheese would be matched by the rise in the price of food and clothing as other tariffs bit home too. This would create the perfect storm for seriously damaging the economy of Cornwall as British shoppers would have to cut back in all areas and our products would be priced out of the rest of Europe. Game playing by Government Ministers on this sort of level, when farmers have so much to lose, is disgraceful. They should put their heads down and do the hard work of getting the best Brexit for farming, fishing and all our industries.
Mr Gove’s ‘fishing smokescreen’ is all the more remarkable in that in August he was in Denmark promising other EU countries access to British waters after Brexit and talking down our local industry by indicating that it did not have the capacity to fish our waters or to process fish!
The reality for the British fishing industry is that the depleted 21st century British Navy is not in a position to deter all foreign fishing vessels, should they choose to continue to come, so I fear that Mr Gove’s extravagant fishing claims have more to do with red herring and the approaching Conservative leadership contest than the well being of the Cornish economy!