Attitudes have hardened (Jonathan Wills)

It is not surprising that European Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella recently told a Tory MEP the Common Fisheries Policy is not negotiable. That is the default negotiating position and attitudes have hardened due to Teresa May’s intransigence.

However, the reality is that European Commission officials do now understand and are concerned that the “no discards” and “landing obligation” rules of the CFP will ruin many if not most trawlers working in multi-species fisheries such as the northern North Sea, if these regulations are fully implemented in 2019.

That predictable result would undermine another of the CFP rules, which says that fisheries should be managed to support sustainable economies in remote communities heavily dependent on fishing.

That is why the Shetland Fishermen’s Association and others were proposing workable alternatives, before the fantasy of clearing all the foreigners out of our waters gained credence in the EU referendum campaign a year ago.

That is also why the European Parliament, not Mr Vella, will insist on a revision of the CFP, whether the UK is in or out of the EU. That will be Scotland’s and Shetland’s opportunity.

Jonathan Wills


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  • Gordon Harmer

    • May 24th, 2017 10:09

    Jonathan you are wearing the mirror on your rose tinted glasses on the wrong side. Teresa May’s intransigence? The only intransigence is coming from the the unelected leaders of the EU who are constantly making threats about punishing the naughty, naughty UK for daring to want to leave. You seem to have a lot of inside information as to what the EU will or will not do about the CFP, why have you not shared this info before now? I will tell you why, because it is gobbledygook, SNP rhetoric, the ramblings of someone who does not know his own political mind. The ramblings of someone who at one time insisted the SNP and independence was detrimental to Scotland and especially Shetland. The ramblings of someone who now has climbed into bed with the very people he has so vigorously slated in the past. How do you expect anyone to take you seriously after all your flip flopping from party to party.

  • Michael Garriock

    • May 24th, 2017 12:04

    You’re not really getting this Jonathan, are you. Unless of course you’re being deliberately disingenuous and taking liberties with the facts.

    “….the fantasy of clearing all the foreigners out of our waters gained”.

    Its not about clearing foreigners from U.K. waters, although that would be the last resort if all else fails. Its about the UK being in charge of deciding which foreigners are in our waters, when, and what they do while they’re there, and the U.K. NOT being dictated to on the subject by a rabble of continentals and eastern Europeans.

    The CFP, despite previous revisions, has been an unmitigated disaster without a single redeeming feature for U.K fishing interests from Day #1, and anyone who still believes further attempts at revision will make one blind bit of difference, is most definitely subscribing to a ‘keep on doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome’ philosophy. The CFP has been, and is what suits the majority of the EU, and no amount of jumping up and down and shouting about it by the U.K, will make a blind bit of difference, seeing as the UK is the entire extent of the minority.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • May 24th, 2017 12:16

    Sure Johnathan, I just love the way you make things up as you go along. Rather reminds me of your fairy story about your Malta/Gozo junket. What was it you claimed, “eight hours in a windowless room, fighting for Shetland folk”. The truth, a tiny little speech, less than five minutes long, moaning about Brexit!! I just love the way the EU publish everything on-line. Copy below and minutes of all presentations. A real fight for Shetland, what a load of humbug!!!

  • Gordon Harmer

    • May 24th, 2017 16:37

    European Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella didn’t just tell a Tory MEP the Common Fisheries Policy is not negotiable he sent a letter. A letter which is there to be seen and not a figment of someones imagination like Salmonds letter from the EU claiming an independent Scotland could stay in the EU in 2014.
    Jonathan seems to forget that people have unsuccessfully tried to reform the CFP for over forty years, unless he has Harry Potter on his side and he is going to cast a spell and all will be well.
    Any one reading Jonathan’s second paragraph would think he knows what he is talking about, when all it is, is a jumble of several things rumbled together to make it all as clear as mud. Obviously hoping to impress those who know or care nothing about the fishing industry, which covers nearly everyone in the SNP including the SNP candidate for Orkney and Shetland.

    • Ian Tinkler

      • May 24th, 2017 17:52

      Gordon, that is not very charitable. Miriam will certainly care, but actually, knows nothing about the fishing industry. Now Torie austerity, she knows all about that., food banks and all. It is such a pity she supports the EU and is against BREXIT. In Greece, EU enforced austerity is so harsh, there is no food to put into food banks. I do not think she knows about that also, I am sure she would care if she did.

  • Jonathan Wills

    • May 24th, 2017 18:37

    With enemies like these, who needs friends? What an extraordinary outpouring of intemperate comments and even, in poor Ian Tinkler’s case, an attempt to be even more personally insulting than his usual. He really should seek help. Once again, it seems impossible to have a reasoned debate with the usual suspects, so I won’t bother trying. I wonder why they don’t stand for parliament…
    Having said that, when writing in haste, earlier this week, I neglected to check my article before sending it and didn’t spot a careless mistake: I had missed out two words. The December meeting in Brussels was with the fisheries commissioner’s senior officials. Mr Vella couldn’t make it after all but the director general of marine affairs was there and his advisers. I apologise if I unintentionally misled anyone but, of course, according to some of your ferocious correspondents, I made it all up anyway…

  • Gordon Harmer

    • May 24th, 2017 20:35

    Enemy, a person who feels hatred for, fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another; an adversary or opponent. Oh dear poor Jonathan thinks we are his enemy when all we are doing is vigorously pointing out that he is wrong and doing it with proof. Jonathan is showing signs of paranoia to boot, by imagining we would say a simple mistake was the poor fellow making stuff up. Jonathan I do not consider you an enemy, I respect you have a view all be it wrong and I believe I have a duty to point this out.
    It is strange you should think that our actions are that of an enemy because these are the actions you were prolific at when you served on the council. If you did not make statements that are not backed by facts or proof we would have no argument. If you did not make public statements in local publications about your own politics we would not be able to call you to account on those very statements. You are a public figure in the public eye, by choice, face up to the responsibility and repercussions when you are Wrong.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • May 25th, 2017 11:17

    Johnathan Wills, I do not need to seek help for telling the truth. You should try the truth sometimes, that would make a refreshing change.
    “which is why I recently spent nine hours arguing their case (Shetland Crofters/Fishermen) in a windowless conference hall at the annual general meeting of the EU’s Islands Commission, at the request of the Council and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR).” (17/03/2017, by Shetland Times, in Readers’ Views)
    The actuality, a five-minute load of anti BREXIT rhetoric. Pure Wills humbug!

  • John Tulloch

    • May 25th, 2017 13:32

    Here’s SImon Collins, Shetland Fishermen’s Association chief executive writing in today’s Scotsman on EU fisheries management under the CFP:

    “When you pile up unworkable regulations in a system that cannot change its mind even when all agree that a rule is mistaken, and which hands powers to bureaucrats as far removed from the practicalities of running a boat or a business as it is possible to be, there is little to look forward to other than slow strangulation.”


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