Farage’s voting record on fishing ‘makes mockery’ of new election poster
UKIP’s new election poster unveiled in Grimsby today highlights the plight of fishing businesses that have been ‘gutted due to the EU’. Greenpeace has responded that UKIP’s voting record in the European Parliament and Nigel Farage’s appalling attendance on the Fisheries Committee makes a mockery of UKIP’s claim to be standing up for fishermen.
Over the three years that Nigel Farage was a member of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee, he attended one out of 42 meetings. Greenpeace research released today shows that during the three major votes to fix the flaws of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), Nigel Farage was in the building but failed to vote in favour of improving the legislation.
In 2013, Nigel Farage was again present but chose not to vote on the part of the reform of the CFP that introduces an obligation on governments to give more fishing quota to sustainable fishermen who contribute the most to the local, coastal economies. This would see the government giving more fishing quota to local, low impact fishing fleets, such as the fishermen featured in UKIP’s poster.
Greenpeace is currently undertaking a two month, pre-election tour of English and Welsh coastal marginal constituencies asking MPs and parliamentary candidates to pledge to become coastal champions if they win the next election. At the event in Ramsgate in the constituency of Thanet South, all the parliamentary candidates except Nigel Farage attended and pledged that if they won the next election they would work their hardest to get more fishing quota for the many angry fishermen who were at the event.
Ariana Densham, Greenpeace Oceans campaigner said:
“Local fishermen around the coast are struggling to survive and are furious after neglect by successive governments. But they will not be fooled by UKIP’s claim that they are standing up for them because most, if not every time there has been a major vote in Europe that would have given them a better deal, they don’t vote for it. The new EU law on fishing has been reformed and if implemented by national governments, it will fix many of the serious problems faced by fishermen. UKIP did not lift a finger to support this huge win for local fishermen. Like it or not, the EU provides the solution for the problem and the next government must implement the new EU fishing law and stop giving the lion’s share of fishing quota to industrial and foreign fishing corporations at the expense of local, sustainable fishermen.”
The next stop on the Greenpeace election tour is Grimsby on Saturday. The tour will culminate just days before the election in the Fisheries Minister George Eustice’s constituency of Hayle. The campaigners are hoping that the Minister will respond to the breadth of support for the campaign from the public and cross party MPs and candidates as he is currently refusing to give more quota to local, sustainable fishermen as required by EU law.
Greenpeace launched the campaign ‘Our net gain’ in November last year with the shocking statistic that nearly half of the English quota is used by foreign industrial fishing corporations. While a meagre six per cent is given to local, low impact fishermen who fish sustainably and directly contribute to local economies. Greenpeace believes that through putting pressure in these key coastal battle grounds is a prime opportunity to force the next government to finally put local fishermen first in the queue for fishing quota.
For more information, please call Kate Blagojevic on 07801 212 959
Common Fisheries Policy:
v There were 3 key votes on the CFP legislation:
1. The Common fisheries policy (CFP) regulation – on 6 Feb 2013. This law was passed with 502 in favour (75%). 9 out of 10 UKIP MEPs abstained (in opposition to the position of their EU group). Nigel Farage was the only UKIP MEP that didn’t vote, even though he would have been in the building.
2. The Common market organisation (CMO) regulation – on 12 Sept 2012. This law was passed with 620 in favour (92%). 5 out of 9 UKIP MEPs abstained and 1 voted against the law (all in opposition to the position of their EU group). 3 MEPs didn’t vote at all: 1 was entirely absent, and 2 – including Farage – didn’t vote, even though they would have been in the building.
3. Third, the European maritime fisheries fund (EMFF) regulation – on 14 April 2014. This law was passed with 473 votes in favour (84%). 5 out of 9 UKIP MEPs voted against the law (in opposition to the position of their EU group). Of the remaining 4 MEPs that didn’t vote, 1 was absent and 3 – including Farage – would have been in the building, but didn’t vote.
v Fourth on environmental and social criteria. There was a vote for an amendment to the CFP regulation on using environmental and social criteria to allocate fishing opportunities and incentives for low impact fishing (this is more or less article 17 of the final regulation) – on 6 Feb 2013
This amendment was passed with 366 in favour (55%). 9 out of 10 UKIP MEPs abstained (in line with the position of their EU group) but Nigel Farage again was the only UKIP MEP who didn’t vote, even though he would have been in the building.
Nigel Farage turned up to just one out of 42 meetings on the fisheries committee when he was on it. (£) http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/85563e82-8f44-11e3-be85-00144feab7de.html