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Matt Harding

Solid, reasonable analysis. Spot on with the only way to resolve this is around the negotiating table.

Peter S.

The EU have not acted in accordance with the Lisbon Treaty which provides for negotiating the terms of departure, “taking account of the framework of its future relationship”. So clearly the latter has to be agreed first. EU refusal to abide by its own rules has poisoned the discussions from the start. There is little reason to expect further discussion to produce an accepted outcome.

sparky42

Oh look that old failed talking point. The EU has abided by their obligations, nothing says the EU has to give an Ex member anything.

Peter S.

Rubbish. The procedure for a departing member is clearly set out in Article 50 and the EU failed to adhere to it. We should have walked away then instead of playing along and paying.

Pmichael

The EU is doing that just fine. Maybe people like you just don’t like it but that’s your problem

Bloke back down the pub

If EU boats are excluded from UK waters, and the British boats are shut out of EU markets for their catch, the winners will be the fish. With no more discarding of dead, over quota fish, and fewer boats fishing, at last the stocks might have a decent chance to recover from the overfishing that has largely been due to the CFP. Ironically, as the fish don’t understand international borders, EU fishermen would likely see their catches increase.

4th watch

Nice in theory but let’s not be starry eyed and naive. Surely we have learned by now these people dont negotiate; they take.

Shire boy

I assume you are talking about Boris?

4th watch

No

John Clark

Yawn….

D M

The term “gunboats” was not one HM govt used. It was used by the SNP who apparently seem to think the RN has no business being in ‘Scottish’ waters. It was also used in a few printed rags like the Mail. On January 1st when we leave without a deal, UK waters will be returned solely for the use of UK fisherman. In those circumstances the RN will do what it is instructed to do by the govt. It will enforce our sovereignty over those waters as it should in whatever manner the job requires. Speculation about markets being closed off is nonsense as well. Tariffs will exist but no one on any side has suggested barring access to the others market. None of this affects our relationship as NATO allies either. In 6 months time no one will give a fig about brexit. It will be done, 30 years late in my opinion but there you go.

sparky42

I’d happily put money on no, Brexit is still going to be a live issues in 6 months.

ETH

Apologies for the late reply but you’re absolutely right, Brexit is likely to remain relevant for decades.

Gavin Gordon

Distilled, the MOD announcement simple stated the RN would aid policing and strive to minimise any possiblity of harm occurring. Tabloid reaction is predictable, but for Tobias Ellwood to borrow the gunboat phraseology, rather than deconflict when he knows full well the role of the OPVs in this context, leaves him open to a charge of grandstanding.

Gavin Gordon

– if accurately recorded by Forces Network.

Julian Edmonds

If we are ever released from lockdown and permitted to travel overseas again, we WILL give a fig about Brexit. People will be turned away at the border for not having return tickets or bank statements to prove they have enough money for their stay. Going in your own car or taking the dog will need months of preparation. Holiday home owners will have to move back and forth every 90 days and no longer have the right to retire there. As for the locked-down youth who just want to enjoy their gap year in peace, forget it.

Damo

No it won’t

Jim

You do know that we previously went on holiday to these nations prior to the free movement rules – and it wasn’t hard.

Re the holiday home owners, why not apply for residence? UK has allowed that for EU nationals, I have family members who have done that in Greece – although some other countries will just be obstinate.

Steve

If they live there for more than 6 months a year then they can apply for residence and should really do, but if its a holiday home, then they might not satisfy the criteria.

Either way its only the rich that can afford a 2nd holiday home, and afford to have enough holidays a year to go there for the periods talked about, so i really don’t care.

Harryb

You know people go on holiday and live in forign countries, outside of the EU right? Hell I know very few students who have done a gap year in Europe as opposed to Australia, Africa and Asia. Demanding that people have the ability to sustain themselves independently in your own country is perfectly reasonable.

Alex

And you know this for a fact? Way back before we joined the EEC I was going on holiday to Spain. No problems, received a very small entry stamp at the airport that allowed entry but not allowed to work. If wanted a work permit you had to have a job offer first and then apply for it, almost never refused. Many people had also retired to Fr/Sp/It in those days. Not going to be very different come 1st Jan 2021.

David Graham

Dear DM,
Might I suggest you read Article 62 of UNCLOS82 which sets out the responsibilities of a sovereign coastal state with regard to the harvesting of the living resources within its EEZ. The UK neither has the port infrastructure, cold stores or processing plants, nor the fishing fleets to harvest all the resources. The Heath administration were largely responsible for this decimation, but that of course is history. I am 100% behind the UK taking control of fisheries as a sovereign coastal state, but this has to be done in a realistic manner, with bi-lateral negotiations between London and other interested parties.

My interest: I was ops controller of the Falkland Islands fisheries protection service from its inception in 1987,until 1990, and worked in fisheries surveillance in 7 West African States for 14 years, and in the Republic of Yemen [in co-operation with US Coast Guard] from 2004 until 2008.

X

True. And though some expansion of the fishing fleet will be welcome for many reasons we shouldn’t aim to replicate EU levels of extraction. As marine conservation areas have shown, such as the one around Lundy, leaving areas unfished helps to greatly rejuvenate stocks. Not that such areas have stopped the EU trawlers rampaging through them because we don’t have enough FP assets.

ATH

Well said!

But I fear you going to get lots of “machine gun the fogs out of the water” crap from the Brexit party types.

Sean

Typical comment from the most zealot of Remainers that can’t even contemplate other people might validly have a view that differs from theirs. The kind of blinkered view on life which blinded them into thinking they couldn’t lose the referendum.

Luke

No it’s just fearing nationalistic rhetoric that does nothing but create tensions between countries and leads to nothing ever getting done. Cough cough trade deal

Sean

It’s funny, just a few weeks ago Remoaners were complaining about the U.K. breaking international law with the Internal Markets Bill.
Now they’re complaining about the U.K. enforcing international law by protecting our EEZ.
Couldn’t make it up! 😂

David Barry

I’m not complaining, however, the Daily flail, wail and fail should be bought as a stockpile of cheap toilet paper. HTH.

Luke

That’s because they realise that inflaming tensions with neighbouring countries when we want concessions that they have a right to withhold is never a good idea.

X

Do entities need a trade deal to do business if their countries don’t have one?

We don’t have one with China. Only recently had one with Japan.

What you seem to forget is that what drives a lot of what the EU does is Germany satisfying its own needs as the biggest contributor. Do you think Germany really cares about the little countries when it comes to putting their own interests first?

If you think the EU really acts in concert as one for the good of all you are either very naive, very stupid, or possibly both.

borg

I hate driving in Fog.

Gareth

I voted remain too, but am objective enough to see that it was exactly this kind of talk which helped persuade a large %age of the undecided electorate to vote leave. It always seemed to me that the remain side were doing everything in their power to lose the vote in the run up to the referendum. e.g. Flying Obama into London to issue what was, in essence, an economic threat to the country from the steps of Downing Street whilst flanked our own PM. Honestly don’t know whose idea that was but it was, for me, one of the few times Obama really screwed up (if you were a remain voter at least).

Jonathan Pie gets it right: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLG9g7BcjKs

4th watch

Obama screwed up on almost everything.

J burden

Spot on

A L

First class article! We could all learn a lot from its measured tone. Unfortunately most of the principal players and journalists seem a long way away from this balanced analysis.

criss whicker

This is just an opinion but? surely logic and playing the EU at its own game may well serve as good,
the EU loves to take us to court , so we could do as follows.

keep the navy at arms length to be used only if extrema violence is used by either side,
as already stated let the fisheries protection do the job of checking that things are correct and in good order,

and use the courts and the UN , WTO to good effect, and sue the EU for damages , and any other laws they may break and enforce international law against them.

in short time they may well understand that , they also cannot break international law,
and follow the rules, ,
escalating this out of hand will help no one, least of the , the unmighty EU.
just an opinion.

sparky42

Trump has basically killed the WTO’s ability to rule on issues, it’s going to take time for anything to come from them (if ever again), and what exactly are you going to take to the UN?

Sean

I’m pretty sure it was the WTO that authorised America to put tariffs on EU goods due to ES state subsidies to Airbus. And previously they’d authorised the EU to put tariffs on USA over subsidies to Boeing.

sparky42

But the “court” system of the WTO is effectively dead as Trump blocked so many nominees, I’m not sure they can even have a legal quorum at this stage to hear disputes.

Duker

It was the EU that allowed tariffs on Boeing, not the WTO.
Its widly complex but the there was multiple ‘gears being ground’ over the question of Airbus or Boeing subsidies

Sean

No it was the WTO that authorised the EUs’s tariffs
https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=2192

Derek

It IS the Royal Navy that patrols and checks that ‘all is good and correct’. They always have. This hyperbole is all hogwash. The River batch 1’s are Fisheries Protection Vessels from the launch day.

Sean

International law is that after the end of the transition period foreign boats have no legal authority to fish in British waters and vice versa. The only vessels at risk of being impounded are those on both sides that flout international law and fish in another’s EEZ.
It’s the EU’s failure to grasp this, and their failure to negotiate access as they currently do with Norway, that’s led to the standoff on fishing.

On the bright side, maybe we should order more River 2’s

sparky42

Norway’s relationship with the EU is much different than the one the UK is going to end up with so the situations are not the same.

Sean

The situations are identical, with both the U.K. and Norway being countries outside of the EU and having their own EEZ.
Not a difficult concept to grasp 🤷‍♂️

sparky42

No, no they aren’t, you”d know that if you tried to look. Norway is a EFTA member, the UK has decided not to be that either. The relationships between the EFTA (ie Norway) and the EU and a Third Nation (ie UK) and the EU are very different.

Last edited 7 months ago by sparky42
Duker

The EEA agreement doesnt cover Fisheries
To participate in the EU’s single market, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway are parties to the Agreement on a European Economic Area (EEA)”

Sean

EFTA doesn’t cover EEZ and fishing. Which is why each year the EU has to negotiate with Norway for access to its waters. I know this because I had previously looked this up, back in 2916 actually.

David Barry

Was this a reverse back to the future time 😉

X

Not fisheries.

There are lots of odd situations in IR especially when it comes to the seas,

For example take Denmark. When it comes to fisheries the EU speaks for Denmark. But Denmark speaks for the Faroes and Greenland on fisheries.

Sean N.

Force should always be the last resort, but should never be ruled out either. Whats your opinion on several sinkings of Chinese fishing boats off South America and in the western Pacific by nations trying to protect their own EEZs? Chinese fishing fleet sizes make trying to impound all those who flaunt international law impossible. Not that I’m trying to say the EU is like China, but some thought should be given to such scenarios. Perhaps the Chinese Fleets will come to the north Atlantic. They are getting bolder and pushing into places that even just 5 years ago, people thought, they wouldn’t dare.

Last edited 7 months ago by Sean N.
Steve

It’s a policing mission and not a military one. Shooting a allied countries boats is close to an act of war. I’m fine with arresting them and trying them in british courts (although the cost would massively outwiegh the benefit), but military action against an unarmed fishing boat, clearly absolutely never. We arent a tin pot country, we follow the rule of law.

Merlot

The Brexit issue and the US Presidential elections have made me realise just how similar are the mindsets of the adult British and US populations.
Approx 50% swayed by rhetoric and 50% by rationale. Frightening.

Steve

It’s not as simple as that. It’s more that it doesnt take many voters to change their vote to win an election. A major swing is only a few thousand voters. Most people just vote conserv/labor because that is what they vote and will never change that.

Derek

I am so glad you see the rationality of Brexit and the (now totally discredited) rhetoric of the remainders! Nice to see.

Scott Parker

As a person who lives jointly in the UK and US i find it very lazy and naïve
to pool together Trump and Johnson OR Trumpers and Brexit. Totally different people, groups and motives. I know we like to simplify the world but this is just lazy thinking

Bloke back down the pub

Macron is the fly in the ointment. He blocks a deal because we won’t give the French full rights to fish our waters, knowing full well that a no deal Brexit will result in them getting nothing. Rather than risk being blamed by the French fishermen for agreeing to a reduced catch, he’d rather see them get nothing, knowing they’ll blame Boris and Perfidious Albion.

Sean

Indeed Macron is thinking about the election in 2021.
If he agrees a deal that sees their quota reduced the French fishermen blame him.
If he blocks a deal then the fishermen get zero but he pins the blame on the U.K.

Steve

Yep and same in reverse for Boris. His struggling to stay in power and blaming Europe keeps him there for another day.

Sean

Boris doesn’t have an election in 2021 he has 4 more years,
whereas the deeply unpopular Macron does.
So not the same at all 🤷‍♂️

X

Unless the government collapses. The Fixed Term Parliament Act only works if nothing happen. That is one of the reasons it is very poor legislation.

Steve

Your right Boris isn’t worried about the average person and winning another election, but he has a more immanent problem, his own party. If he doesn’t do everything he can to keep them on board they will kick in out of office fast, as they have done time and time again over the years. You can see from the huge number of leaks and off the record comments that the backbenchers are already close to pushing him out.

4th watch

I dont fully agree with this analysis. The value of fish caught is the tip of the iceberg. there is much underlying value in the ship/boat building, equipment, insurance, finance and other benefits that can revitalise poorer coastal communities as long as the rewards come to UK citizens and the exchequer.
To down play the value smacks of the same ideology that has decimated almost every UK industry one can think of by selling the family silver. In fact silver is a poor analogy because lively industries bring dynamic wealth and dont just require cleaning and sitting about on shelves. We need to preserve and develop our advantages as never before.Thanks.

Dan

The government has been happy to watch the fishing industry and coastal communities decline for decades. At the moment, fishing is a useful political football for them, but the chances of them giving a damn about it once the trade deal arguments are resolved are next to zero.

4th watch

Fishing is also a significant way of keeping the UK together. Do the Scots really want to join the EU again and lose their fishing? Same for N. Ireland and Wales.
RoIreland will be hung out to dry by Macron’s craziness.

Steve

Agreed it seems to have become a massive public issue.

It’s just frustrating that we are even talking about fishing when it is such a tiny tiny part of the economy or jobs of the country. I don’t understand why the news is not focusing on industries that actually matter, and the damage that is being done to them because the government is focusing on a stupid sub-sub section of the economy.

I can only assume the government knows they can’t get a good deal for the relevant industries and so its trying to distract people from that by focusing on fishing, a much more simple industry as far as brexit is concerned.

X

It is a sovereignty issue. Not everything is about money.

The EU is less than 10% of our economy and shrinking year on year.

We have run huge deficits with the EU whilst not only paying premium prices but also a membership fee too.

Steve

Where did you get 10% from, EU makes up over 40% of our economy?

DWD

i assume you mean 40% of exports (and that %is falling fast, 20 years ago % of export to the EU was 60% of total and they haven’t increased in real terms in that period) which is not the same as 40% of the economy. As exports in total account for around 30% of the UK GDP, so c.12% is to the EU. i would say that X’s number is more accurate.

Henry

It may be a small part of the economy from London’s perspective but it’s the most important part from the coastal communities’ perspectives.
National economic policy should serve the interests of the whole nation, the biggest industries don’t really need a leg up.

Fat Bloke on Tour

E+W — RN provides a fishing control capability.
Sc — there is a dedicated squadron paid for by Holyrood.
From memory it is 2 big / one small where the small vessel is bit slow.

Consequently this is not news.
It is just Brexit nonsense served up for quitters.

X

Yes. There was controversy when one of them was built in Poland due to EU rules and not on the Clyde.

Fat Bloke on Tour

Interesting how fishig is being handled regarding Brexit and how it was handled when we had that stooshie with Iceland in the 1970s.

The EU are fighting hard to keep control of their take in UK waters — continuity / avoiding economic shock reasoning to the fore.

Then it was pack up and go home — tough luck regarding any social dislocation that comes your way.

Interesting how things have changed in 45 years.

borg

Interesting how things have changed since the UK stood alone against the Nazi’s too. There’s gratitude for you !

Steve

Its simple economics, the EU is trying to get the best deal for its own people, and their jobs and industries as is the responsibility of any politician. We are choosing to leave the most powerful trading block in the world and so we knew what we were up against when we left.

Having talked to many people in Europe over the years, most remember that the US saved them, which is the news that movies / tv tells them. In practice is was Russia that did most of the hard work in ousting the Nazi and yet we are close to being at cold war with them again, but ultimately what has that got to do with a trade deal.

X

The most powerful trading block in the world? Really?

And what exactly was the advantage for us? We are their biggest customer and have run huge deficits for decades.

Steve

40% of all our trade is with the EU, the advantage to us was tariff free trade.

Our EU trade means more to us than we do to the EU.

borg

Britain Stood alone for a considerable time, we helped re-build Europe and Germany, just take a look at BMW and VW History post war. It’s got everything to do with a trade deal and a fair one at that.

Henry

Ultimately what does fishing rights have to do with a trade deal?
The EU’s approach to limiting the effects of Brexit have been openly adversarial, it would have been nice if the ‘European peace project’ had been more than just code for “either you’re with us out you’re against us.”

andrej wout

if i could just add to this: uk fishermen have consistently sold off their quotas to foreign buyers and as such, cannot stop those quota owners catching that fish under international law. The media notion that super trawlers from Holland etc come in and steal our fish is pure fiction. They paid for those fishing rights and have every right to do so. I am an ex fisherman and am a staunch brit……but some of the stories are nonsense

borg

As I understand it….. the UK exports 90% of It’s catch.

andrej wout

caught under conjoined quotas by foreigners and either landed in uk or mostly zoomed away to europe directly. Theres lots of trickery(sometimes legal) and rule bending/swerving. A dutch owner, would for example, buy 3 different quotas from three uk owners and put them into one for his ship uk/or not to catch legally. Its worked like that for years. I know people who have become very wealthy by selling off that way. The southern english were especially into doing that and sold off all there quota for very valuable dover sole to the dutch cos they thought the stock was empty. The cloggies bought it all and had three year record catches….the anglos were very pissed about that and have since claimed they were ‘robbed’……load of bollox to be fair. Dont get me wrong , i want illegal fisheries to be stamped on here…but we do have to be careful with unfounded rhetoric spouted by the tabloids and a few bitter fisherman in certain circles. The scots are nowhere near as ‘angry’ about it all cos they either kept their quotas or knowingly sold them, and thus wont bitch too much.

andrej wout

and yes…………….the best of uk fish goes abroad.If you follow the fish trucks from bilbao to san sebastian in spain…they are all british trucks pouring fish water from british fish. The spanish value the product are actually prepared to pay a good price!!

andrej wout

we are and always have been led down a garden path with the ‘fishing’ Anyone who knows the industry knows it s a moot point and just put there to distract us. Its a bit like saying that scotland and england seperate and the oil platforms become scottish. No they dont. The r and d was done and proven to be paid for by many firms around the world. The scots would have sovereignty over those waters and fuels but not the platforms and research that was put in place under international law. Yes, they could refuse to play nicely…but that wouldn’t go down well with the shell, bp type cats or the international community. Its just a similar example of what if. So yes we own all our fish if theres no deal but not the fish we sold before hand under an ongoing agreement

X

I think the Sheltanders and Orlkadians would argue about them being Scottish waters. 🙂

X

I agree with you on anything. For me it is more a question of sovereignty more than the fishing industry.

DaveyB

Politics aside, I can only really comment on the stories told to me by two mates, who I grew up with. They are each a part owner of a deep sea trawler that operates from Newlyn. For the past year and half they have been subject to ramming, having their nets damage by other trawlers dragging their nets over the top and been pelted with all kind of objects, from rocks to faeces. They have also had flares fired at them. During the summer two crewman from one of the boats were airlifted to Treliske hospital as they had taken head injuries, from some Spanish fishermen who were using catapults to fire ball bearings at them. Have my mates turned the other cheek and proving to be the better people. Course not, they are giving as good as they get. When you are talking over £25,000 for a set of nets, that get chopped up. The damage claims they make against the Spanish and French fishermen get ignored by the EU authorities. It is very easy to see things escalating, especially as my friends believe they have been let down by Fisheries.

X

And their governments will ‘turn the other cheek’ to their actions.

Our inshore FP is more about management than policing and very patchy. Unlike all of Europe we don’t have any ‘policing’ of our territorial waters to a great extent. The Spanish have, for example, the Civil Guards and their revenue service. The French have more ‘police’ and customs boats deployed to Biscay than we have for our whole coast. The Germans have 8 ‘coast guards’ vessels. The Belgians have 2 navy patrol boats, 3 police boats, and a large number of customs boats thanks to Antwerp; they patrol a coast roughly the same length of that of Sussex.

And though a capable design the Rivers are too few in number and too large. We need 6 smaller ships of plus some specialist designs. Drones taking photos isn’t policing. Especially when criminals know all they have to do is reach their own waters and their own government will run interference.

Mick Nicholson

I agree with the analysis but none of the UK vessels, RN, Border Force or local have been designed to counter non compliant fishing vessels. They didnt have go be because non compliant vessels had no where to run to. You need ships to be robust and fast if you do not want to fallback on firepower, which could only be justified if there were risk to life (for example of a boarding party)

X

Exactly. It isn’t so much foreign trawlers we will need to outpace but their navies coming to their rescue. EEZ are open waters.

X

D o w n v o t e s because somebody disagrees? Or because I live in their head rent free? We will never know……….

Merlot

You still enjoying rent free accommodation X?
You’ve a generous landlord.

X

Seems so.

Steve

The silly thing is most of the fish caught by British boats are sold into Europe. Being able to catch a bit more fish and then not being able to sell it, is not good for anyone. How an industry that makes up less than 0.01% of the economy ended up being so important in the negotiations is just nuts.

StevenW

It is not nuts. The UK government is using fishing rights as a bargaining tool pure and simple. They know it matters to the French, Spanish etc and are sensibly using fishing in UK waters as a means of getting concessions in other more important factors, from a British perspective, in the negotiation of a free trade deal. It is a hard nosed tough negotiation. Whether we should have put ourselves in the position of having to have these negotiations is a different matter!

X

What is there to bargain for? The UK is bar far the EU’s biggest customers. The trade deficit is huge. We buy their goods at EU prices not ‘rest of world’ prices so pay a premium; the EU isn’t a discount club. Over 80% of our economy is internal, over 10% and growing is the rest of the world, and the EU is now less than 10%. There is nothing the EU sells us that we can’t get cheaper elsewhere. We are a cash cow for the EU.

Steve

It’s not as simple as that. If they give us a better deal than other countries, then those countries will come knocking and simple economics come into play.

The question is will we move our purchases to another countries if prices go up a bit. For some industries for sure it will happen over time, but the ones that count probably not, because people buy quality rather than bargain basement for the more profitable items like cars/cheese/wine/etc/etc.

Europe’s concern is that if they give us a free trade deal and then we lower our standards, then we will undercut them and take jobs away from the EU, which would hit them harder than not having a deal.

X

All you have done is expanded on what I said and then parroted it back to me whilst saying I was wrong.

Steve

Appologise, seems i mis-understood your post.

X

Sorry.

BigH1979

Most intelligent answer on here. Cheers Steven i had literally never thought of it like that. We through them a bone and they serve us up a sizzling fillet steak!!

X

20% of German car production, some 800,000 units come to the UK and makes up 40% of our market. It is a trade worth billions. Don’t worry about the fish.

Steve

and the German car manufacturers have written an open letter stating they do not want the UK to get favorable terms and would prefer a no-deal, as they are concerned that international firms (US/Japanese/etc) would open up in the UK and undercut the German cars, plus they know that German cars are not the cheapest and people pay a premium for them already, so probably will just take the hit from the increased prices.

Cam

Us and Japanese company’s have already setup n the UK, Ford, Nissan, Honda ect ect, but the EU have now allowed Japan to setup in Europe so they are leaving the UK, well one is.

StevenW

Actually under the trade deal the EU now has with Japan the Japanese car manufacturers no longer need to have European factories at all. Honda is closing Swindon because it can import cars from its homeland. It is not opening a plant in the EU.

Cam

Yeah that’s what I was trying to say

X

No the EU finally got around to finalising a free trade deal with Japan. And Japan is taking the jobs home when it can.

Cam

Ok fair enough, but either way it’s good for Japan.

Cam

If we can barely stop Iceland!! A nation if 250,000 odd! How in the hell could we stop Europes fleet… and we had a much larger fleet back then. I know it won’t look good facing off european navys and that’s why it’ll never happen, we will just add another opv to make us british feel better because that’s what wins votes…

X

All Iceland did was threaten to withdraw from NATO. It wasn’t as if they were ‘winning’ at sea.

Cam

No but they still gave us a good go…

X

The advantage of ice strengthened and ‘under armed’ boats and the UK not wanting to be seen to be a bully with for the day very well armed ships.

Cam

Yes true

Joe16

While I broadly agree with the analysis of the article, I would espectfully point out that the author zips over a couple of points:
UNCLOS (which we are a signatory to) specificallymakes provision for allowing foreign vessels access to fish stocks in geographical locations which they have historically had access to. Most of the north western European states have legally fished UK EEZ waters for far longer than the CFP has been around, and so will still legally retain acces to UK fishing grounds via that (although there’ll likely be a lot more red tape around it). We will also retain access to theirs via the same method.
Also stated is that the CFP decimated the UK’s fishing industry, but that’s not quite the case; The UK fishing fleet was largely cold, deep water oriented- for going after cod and haddock off Iceland and Norway etc. These vessels were not fishing the UK’s waters at all, and were in fact all laid up in port on government subsidies at the end of the cod wars. The CFP was decided by proportionately sharing out the quota based upon active fleet, something both our fishing industry and the government was aware of. But instead of refitting and getting out into UK waters, they just sat in port and took some more handout money. So, consequently, we got a relatively small quota- definitely not the CFP’s fault if the UK fishing fleet couldn’t get off their arse and do some fishing.
Finally, of that quota we do have, the government has the responsibility for handing it out as they see fit- not the EU. And they have seen fit to sell it to foreign fishing concerns and large companies that operate towards the “factory ship” end of the scale. Over 50% of NI’s total quota is held by one trawle, 80% of England’s is owned by foreign companies and domestic rich listers. Again, we bemoan the loss of our fishing fleet, but the government has been the one gutting what we had, not the CFP.
Ultimately, we have fewer claims to sole use of the fish stocks than many would like to think, we were shafted on the CFP more by our own government and fishing industry than Europe, and (as the article very successfully points out) we’re better off finding an amicable solution than a confrontational one. No wonder the French are playing hardball when our complaints don’t match history.

Duker

Isnt UNCLOS fisheries provisions for fishing on the ‘high seas’ and certain migratory species?
It refers to fish species which undertake ocean migrations and also have wide geographic distributions, and usually denotes tuna and tuna-like species, sharkmarlin and swordfish.’

“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straddling_Fish_Stocks_Agreement

It wouldnt make sense for an exclusive area of the sea to be reserved for coastal states which then allows others to take fish resources from within.

Those are good points you make about the existing fish management arrangements.

Joe16

I’m pretty sure it covers coastal nations’ EEZs too, although I don’t have a copy of it in front of me…
I believe it basically states that you should make sure that other countries’ fleets should be considered when it comes to allowing access, although makes no obligation on doing so in preference or even on equal footing to your own fleet. The functional outcome being that they should be allowed whatever’s left over from what a country decides is a sustainable amount of fish, once domestic fleets have taken up their share. Given the UK fleet’s current capacity, and their preference for selling/renting their quotas out to those who can actually be bothered to go out and fish, I’d say that leaves quite a lot for European fishermen.
I’m not saying we need to stay with the CFP (I don’t like the CFP at all), I just don’t think we can say that European fisherman have no right of access to our waters under any circumstances.

Fat Bloke on Tour

Fair point about the way that the UK fishing industry has behaved over the years — parcel of rouges would be the polite way of describing them.

Klondike capitalism red in tooth and claw..

However where was UNCLOS when we having the stooshie with Iceland in the 70’s?
Was it part of the discussion but never mentioned in the media?
Or was it not on the agenda at the time?

The whole brexit process is being managed in the UK and the media is going along with it — consequently I now understand how wars start.

We have the access we want to the EU but we don’t want to pay the price they are asking or at leat we are haggling over the last penny.

Joe16

Just to be clear, I am a supporter in general of British industry and the concept of the government supporting them. But I fully expect them to do something productive and proactive with the support provided. As you say, I don’t feel that the fishing industry as a group have done that. I’m sure that individual fishermen work very hard but whichever bodies are representing them, and the government, are blaming the EU for their own cock ups.
That’s a great question, no idea why we didn’t resort to UNCLOS with regards Iceland… It could be that they aren’t signatories? I’ll have to look into that.
I don’t mind a hard haggle- I think we do need to do that to a certain extent because the EU is very used to hard haggling straight back. But I do feel a bit that this exectation that we should get effectively all the economic benefits of the EU without contributing anything in the way of cash or work opportunities back. And that makes no sense to me.

4th watch

My experience is with Scottish shellfish fishermen. These people work extremely hard for their living and probably would continue to do so come Brexit or no.
The question is why was the wider fishing industry allowed to degenerate? Much of the blame must lie with the families that become too rich, fat and lazy ‘to carry on where Dad left off’.

Joe16

Yes, I have no doubt that these guys work incredibly hard.
I want the UK fishing industry to do well, but in order for that to happen the problems need to be recognised, accepted, and changed- rather than blaming those who are at least one step removed from the problem.
The EU fisheries policy is a mess, and it’s still exceeding the scientifically stated sustainable catch limits for many species. We need to be incredibly careful that whatever policy we end up with after Brexit doesn’t do the same thing. I am worried that the neglect that the government has shown towards fishing (and most other UK industries) by not managing quota share will pass down to whatever new arrangement is made. Absolutely, the offspring of the successful fishermen should be criticised for how they’ve blithely gone and sold UK sovereign resource away abroad (that’s a pattern that we can see everywhere else in UK industry too, isn’t it?!), but I’d also question why it was made so easy to do in the first place. That would be our government’s fault- both Tory and Labour…

X

UNCLOS wasn’t extant until December 10th, 1982,

Fat Bloke on Tour

Every day is a schoolday …

Not a great fan of recent episodes of Icelandic Mystic capitalism.
Based on too many memories of the 70’s I think.

Not a great supporter of the UK fishing industry — at it from dawn to dusk would be a charitable description — but we always seem to be on the wrong side of the branch when we decide to saw it off.

DWD

i think you may find this article interesting regards the point you were making on UNCLOS https://www.ejiltalk.org/brexit-and-fisheries-access-some-reflections-on-the-uks-denunciation-of-the-1964-london-fisheries-convention/
it summarises by saying that the legal historical route wouldn’t likely stand up, especially with the move from artisanal boats to factory trawlers.

The CFP is and has been an absolute disaster for fish stocks – you only have to look at Norway / Iceland fish stocks and management to see the difference an actually sustainable fisheries management scheme looks like.

The UK government has tried to stop foreign boats taking UK boats if you recall the Factortame case? as for UK fishermen selling their quota, well if your quota is inadequate to live off and no one else is prepared to sell to you what do you do? its the same reason why hundreds of small farms disappeared leaving a smaller number of bigger farms.

But what ever has happened subsequently with the quota’s that are ‘allowed’ for the UK, under what insane world is it fair that the country who owns the asset is only allowed 40% (511,000 tons)of the resources extracted? on average between 2010-2016 uk quota (which would include the foreign owned bits) was 41% of the total landings from the UK EEZ. the UK is then shafted again as the EU sells norway access to UK waters for EU fishermen (british fishermen get 26,000 tons out of Norway, where Norway benefit from c.200,000 tons of fish out of UK seas). now those figures are tonnages and depends on type of fish and price you get, but it does illustrate the bias against UK both in the CFP and then the EU leveraging UK waters to benefit continental fishermen. this has been lifted from papers by Neil Stratton on Briefings for brexit website if you are interested in more details or the provenance of the numbers i have quoted.

i agree that the uk fisherman was shafted by the UK government, or specifically the Heath government, but once in and signed up to a terrible one sided deal, then the only recourse to changing it was leaving it.

and yes of course the french are playing hardball – they think us soft mugs – after all they would never have given away 60% of their marine fishery resources to us!

back to the article itself, the paragraph –
‘Fishing is important but it is only a very small aspect of much wider UK interests in Europe and the world. In 2019 the UK fishing industry accounted for 0.12% of GDP. Analysts estimate that If UK vessels had exclusive access to the EEZ it would amount to about an extra 650,000 tonnes of fish landed annually, worth an estimated £400M. UK boats would probably lose access to EU waters, and around 90,000 tonnes of catch worth approx £100M. Other than national pride, what is really worth sacrificing for an extra £300M a year?’
what rot!

  • i would say based on analysis from Neil Stratton the net gain in tonnage is closer to 650,000 net so £400m not £300m of the raw fish prices
  • as someone else pointed out that is the raw material as sold on the dockside – there is a much bigger value chain that can grow out of that.
  • prior to the CFP the UK used to be a net fish exporter now we are a net fish importer, much of it cod taken and landed on the continent from our own waters
  • sorting the norway arrangement so we deal direct and gain the full benefit of reciprocal fishing arrangements would be another £70-80m of raw fish gain
  • properly managed fisheries – see both Norway and Iceland- would increase the levels of stock and create more product to harvest enjoy locally and export . after all the world is crying out for fish and if the EU don’t want it there are plenty of markets that do. and on the point of the EU, if they don’t want to buy it from the UK , fine, but i hadn’t noticed a new sea pop up recently from where 650,000 tons of fish can be harvested ?
  • we get out of the CFP and can stop the trawling of bottom of the food chain stocks such as sand eel – which you won’t with continuation of current arrangements – and the ruinous effects on the bigger fish, birds mammals further up the food chain
  • i take it you don’t imagine more than doubling the size of fishing and the associated industries are worth it then in some of the most impoverished parts of our country? i may be wrong. But you have quoted the small size of fishing at 0.12% based on landing 40% of the fish taken under EU quota… that is £2.6bn so you are not talking a mere £300m but something that once the value is added and you more than double the landings an increase of potentially then of another £2.6bn… is that worth it for you now?
  • that last bit about national pride though takes the biscuit – it is not really clear what you think we are sacrificing for only £300m, is it a reference to wanting to avoid upsetting the French and them making mischief ? so we need to give up on our interests to appease the French fishermen who will make trouble ? so much for not giving into terrorists or blackmailers then.
  • but if we are not prepared to defend our own territorial integrity – and our waters and who access them is no different to terrafirma or our airspace then who will? it is an odd mindset on on a website called save the royal navy – why bother saving the royal navy if you think the UK defending its own interests is just national pride and isn’t worth it?
  • and i propose a new version of Godwins law – this one based on the use on evoking ‘grown ups’ in the room
X

Well said.

Joe16

Thank you for the link, it certainly was very interesting. I also fully agree that the CFP is not fit for purpose, both in the way that it deals with managing stocks and also in the way that it freezes the quota distribution permanently. Their interpretation of historic fishing and comairson/equivelence with “artisanal” fishing are interesting; I don’t think any European nation has fished in an artisanal fashion since before the industrial revolution. We have all operated large fleets, supported by large scale onshore infrastructure, so historic fishing rights would have a different definition over here than the SCS I would imagine. Either way, the article also quite rightly points out that we do have obligations towards our fishing neighbours to come to agreements and stewardship regarding fish stocks etc. and I think there would be some further discussion regarding interpretation of UNCLOS and other historic fishing claims.
But as for your point about “fairness” of ownership of a resource, the government and the UK fishing industry knew perfectly well the criteria by which the CFP was going to be decided, yet they did absolutely nothing about securing their fair share of it- even though there were plenty of hulls sitting in port to do that. If the resource is not being used, and our fishermen who were actually getting off their arses and fishing were being allowed access to UK stocks and those in EU (and Norwegian) waters, then there can be inferred some give and take when it comes to the surplus of a resource that crosses international boundaries anyway.
As far as foreign ownership and suchlike, the government may well have tried to control quota hopping by Spanish fishermen with regards Factortame (I’m not going to lie, I had to look that one up!), but they did a bad job of it. Even the ECJ stated in their 1991 ruling at the time that the UK government could put rules in place to protect British fishing, but just couldn’t do it in the way that they had with regards MSA 1988. You’ll note that was almost 30 years ago, and as far as I’m aware the government haven’t taken the ECJ’s hint from their ruling to heart since.
Having family in the north east, and having spent a large part of my working life sailing out of ports along that same region and in east Anglia, I am well aware of the deprivation that exists. An increase of any kind, in any industry (the offshore wind farm industry is exploding in the same area, and offers a far safer avenue of employment- as an example), would have a proportionally large impact in these regions and I very much hope this will happen. But, as I hope I’ve laid out above, they have their predecessors and the government to blame for grossly mis-representing and not supporting them with regards an imperfect international policy. When it is being pitched in terms of demanding sole access to British waters, free access to European markets to sell the catch (because us Brits don’t like eating the domestic species- we prefer Norwegian cod and haddock, which is the primary reason why we have a trade deficit in seafood), and free access to European fishing zones, then I have no time for that. Especially when it’s pitched with the message that we’ve been trodden down by those nasty, evil, manipulative Europeans- when it was our own industry and government’s inaction that did most of the damage. France, Denmark and Spain have no obligation to throw us a bone when our own government can’t even be bothered to, and our own fishing fleet isn’t exactly innocent when it comes to using CFP rules to overfish resources in other countries’ waters.
I fully support the Royal Navy, and I believe that their task is to protect our nation and support/further our national interests at home and abroad. But I don’t really think that task extends to fishery management in this day and age. The way that our coasts and coastal waters are managed and policed by so many different departments and organsations is ridiculous, and I think it is a waste of resources to have the RN covering what is essentially a criminal matter. Beef up the coastguard, or the UK Border Force, sure. But the navy should be warfighting or preparing for the same. I think a US-style coastguard that deals with safety at sea, smuggling, illegal entry, and fisheries etc. makes far more sense than the mish mash of responsibilities we have at the moment.

DWD

thanks for a considered reply.

i am keen to ask you on what basis / where you got your info.(i’d be interested in reading up more) you have made the statement that the government / fishing industry knew the basis that the that the CFP quota allocations were to made on? the government yes, obviously – as this all happened when i was too young to recall – as i have read, Heath was telling the country that practically nothing would change… no loss of sovereignty, just for trade… so admitting in public that the fishing industries were going to get hung out to dry seems a stretch, especially as i think i recall reading Heath asked the Norwegian government and lie about the fishing aspect. it was also clear (from our vantage point nearly 50 years on) that this was deliberate land grab and and the 6 founding nations stuck it in just before the application to greedily grab the rich seas of the north. so the europeans moaning now didn’t give a monkeys about the effect on the UKs fishing communities – it was hands out and fill your pockets time for them.

i would also add that the knowing the criteria (or not) in fundamental terms of operation still does not distract from the fact that our fishing should never have been on the table – the subterfuge and out right lying indicates that he knew the country would not have signed up for it. it does feel a bit like victim blaming to say having been shafted by a government from nearly 50 years ago – that you can’t have redress now and by the way you should have played the rules better.

i hope i am not misrepresenting you – apologies if i am – but i sense that you don’t care much for UK fishing – i am reading the above and it sounds much more sympathetic to the EU one? i am not going to condone over fishing (an inevitability of the CFP by the way) by UK fishermen, but the fact the EU fleet land far more than the UK would indicate that they are probably more guilty even than our lot – and some of the practices defy belief (Dutch electro fishing for example)

From what i recall and reading around the subject a lot of government effort went into factortame case the the ECJ is not normal court and its words and judgements are not fixed it can reinterpret laws any which way that gets the political outcome it needs – i cannot see it overturning its ever closer union principles so, the likely hood of going back and ok now you can stop other EU ownership is/was most unlikely.

in terms of what is been pitched – we cannot be sure our side haven’t said exactly what they want outside a big repatriation of the shares of stock in our waters for UK and re-establishing the principle that these waters are for ‘us’ to decide how to deal with and i have seen nowhere the UK demanding to continue fishing in EU waters (if you can point me in that direction i’d be keen to read up on that)…… the EU on the other hand or should that be France has said that they want continuation of as is for 10 years and at the end they may deem to grant us cash payments equal to between 15-18% of the value as an entry fee. someone is taking the michael and i don’t think it’s Mr Frost. in terms of tariffs on leaving with out an agreement we are on WTO and they can’t ban UK fish sales – be on the WTO naughty step if they did that and we can take them to WTO arbitration, they would lose. but as you say they like a lot of the fish caught in UK waters well, we can catch and sell them those fish – that would resolve our trade deficit in fish. if the EU want to put tariffs on them then there are other world markets and most importantly to note they make eating fish more expensive for their population

i note that you made reference to UK wanting free access to their market – but that is what the essence of a free trade deal is and on balance the UK is a bigger market for their goods , manufactured or grown than they are for us, so it isn’t all about what we want the whole point of a free trade deal is that both parties benefit.

personally, i would shelve the FTA – go WTO and let us both start getting used to our new lives before setting in stone something that may be wholly in appropriate for us or them in 5 years as things change in ways we can’t foresee. i also think it would allow things to cool down. the UK is intent on reorienting to the far east – but trade and in matters naval – and what we might want and need may be hindered by a fudge now.

what is clear is that come 1st January, absent an agreement, even the EU acknowledge they have no right to access UK waters for fishing purposes – otherwise they’d be saying so. and our government is under no obligation to throw the EU a bone on fishing now either.

under the current arrangements, unless something changes between now and 31st the EU boats won’t have access to fish the UK waters or even with an arrangement, someone will need to provide the fisheries protection – i was not fussed who does it, but your point about the navy vis a vis coast guard is well made.

Joe16

Thank you also for your responses- they’re well made and give me pause for thought. I realise I came across quite strongly, so I’d better clarify that I am not particularly against any UK industry- fishing included. What I really don’t like (in any industry/government body) is the blame game, and from our side this has often come in the form of EU-bashing. The EU is by no means perfect, but there isn’t a treaty or organisation in the world that is. The MOD’s ridiculous insistence about not being allowed to reserve the build of RFA stores ships for the UK due to EU rules is another case in point; the ring fence stipulation is for purchases that are vital to national security, which most European countries (and sane thinkers elsewhere) consider to include the strategic enablers of our combat ships. It was completely the government’s choice to add a “warship” component to the discussion and covered over their lack of interest in supporting British industry or in carrying out the NSS long ago. All other Euro nations have had an equivalent strategy for decades, but we haven’t and we’ve suffered for it.
To me, a lot of the rhetoric surrounding fishing is the same.The narrative is that we have a dwindling fishing fleet that is being pushed out of our home waters by the European fleets, who have the lion’s share of the quotas because of protectionism by their own countries. The government’s own figures point out that we have the 2nd largest fleet in the EU in terms of capacity, although 7th in terms of hull numbers. All those rusted hulls and dropping fleet numbers you see are because the old boats are being replaced by larger and more capable ones. All those small boat skippers on the news who are struggling, that’s because those big vessels (that make up only 4% of UK hulls, but 74% of the catch) are owned by large companies and fishing interests that hold vast proportions (just over 2/3) of the UK’s quota. More than half of NI’s fishing quota is held by a single trawler, almost 80% of England’s quota is held by foreign owners and domestic rich listers. Either way, the quota we received was based upon the number of active British fishermen at the time; there was enough to go around those who were heading out to fish. It was for the government to manage that from thereon on outand they have done a terrible job.
I was too young during the Factortame case to know anything about it, so this is based upon reading up post fact (mostly Wikipedia, I admit). But the ECJ’s ruling was that the UK government (or any other government) was free to legislate to protect their fishing resources and industry, but could not do so based upon the method of nationality of ownership that they had used. So they left it completely open for the government to do so in a different way (however the other EU nations do theirs for example?), but they didn’t, they just kept fighting the same argument, which is pointless. And this encapsulates everything that frustrates me; the EU is far from perfect, but instead of going out to make the most of it, all the governments since we joined, regardless of “colour”, have done the opposite except where it involves London’s financial sector. Their domestic mismanagement at home (I think we can broadly agree that the UK government has historically had a very poor track record with supporting all forms of industry) and lack of protection from foreign competition- both from the EU and elsewhere (China) is pretty much a matter of record. To say that it is then EU competition rules at fault is the greatest example of teflon coating of shoulders that you could expect to see; no other European nation has the issues we have with neglect of industry etc. and it’s not because they’re ignoring rules that we stick to- otherwise we and the other EU nations would have each other before the ECJ constantly.
I think that it’s quite clear that the CFP is not fit for purpose, I fully agree with you there. And blaming the current UK fishermen for decisions and deals made 50 years ago isn’t fair, as you say. There are always industry bodies that are involved at governmental level with planning, and I find it very hard to believe that they did not have an understanding of what the Heath government were signing up to at the time- if they didn’t make things clear to those they represent then they are as culpable as the government. Which means that the government (and inustry bodies?) now is redirecting the current fishing industry’s understandable frustration away from themselves for their initial decisions and continuing poor management and onto the EU. That is what is annoying me.
As far as sources go, very happy to share.
UK statistics on the fishing fleet: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fishing-industry-in-2018-statistics-published#:~:text=The%20UK%20fishing%20fleet%20remained,total%20number%20of%20UK%20vessels.
A Greenpeace article on ownership of UK quota: https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/10/11/fishing-quota-uk-defra-michael-gove/
And another on the history of the CFP in the UK: https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/10/11/fishing-quota-uk-defra-michael-gove/

Those are my primary sources, although I have read around a bit more generally too- nothing seems to contradict the hard figures behind the Greenpeace pieces (and they’re backed up by the government numbers too), so I’m inclined to consider them largely factual reports. The fact that they include the voices of senior fishing industry voices, rather than just the odd trawlerman, also adds some weight.

Joe16

I also realise that I didn’t get to all of your points, but my reply was getting so long I felt I had to leave it there. Suffice to say, your proposed solutions to the current situation aren’t at all unreasonable.

DWD

thanks Joe, i will have a good read and comeback to you.

Joe16

Please do, always happy to discuss stuff! Merry Christmas, also!

Paul.P

It is entirely appropriate that the RN should be a presence to police whatever agreement is reached regarding foreign vessels shipping in UK sovereign waters. That said I don’t anticipate the UK putting French and other EU fishermen out of a job at a stroke. There will surely be some kind of transition period. I also believe the policing will the form of gentle reminders and requests for trespassing trawlers to ‘move along’ with boarding being a last resort for repeat offenders.
I would treat so called ‘super trawlers’ more robustly. Their activity is an act of environmental criminal damage.

borg

Well if it brings the Bass back to Ilfracombe, I’ll be a happy retired old Salt.

X

Russian Coast Guard Purga class. 1066 tonnes full load. 24 knots. Flight deck (probably too small for us but good for UAV). And ice strengthened.

comment image

X

I should mention flight deck and hangar. But we don’t have a helicopter that fits.

Don

Nice looking ship and Ice strengthened. There is supposed to be a new UK focus on an Arctic strategy. Will there be a aspiration for Red ship for the North?

Other things to watch out for would be

ST-269 WDV

X

I don’t know about a red ship for the north. A frigate for the seas to our north would be a start. A variant of the Svalbard / Harry DeWolf design would be nice to replace Protector.

Don

Svalbard looks good.
Would a frigate fit be necessary or would an OPV fit for presence and research demonstrate your interest in the area at a lower cost and lower headcount. Then if necessary back up with a big stick of Astute or other warships.
A few more regular sub ice exercises also would help to get the message across.

X

We need a 2087 (TAS) equipped ship ‘oop North’ permanently.

This is the slot a small frigate could fill. Perhaps this what T32 could be?

Don

Good point on the TAS ship. There would be plenty to keep it busy and it could tie in well with the P-8s.

X

T26 will need to be elsewhere. We will be down to 7 more likely 6 SSN’s. The carriers will always be elsewhere too.

X

The ice strengthening isn’t for ice but to make sure the ship survives collisions during ‘police work’.

sparky42

Ireland is to buy two “smaller ships” to base out of Dublin for Post Brexit operations in the Irish Sea, reports suggest 40-50m with circa 20 crew. Eithne and Ciara will be formally decommissioned when the new ships are procured.

X

The INS has been struggling lately for crew. A couple of deployments had to be rescheduled due to lack of key crew.

Last edited 7 months ago by X
sparky42

I’m well aware of that given I live next to the Base, the idea is that the smaller crews along with formally decommissioning the two hulls in the reserve will free up enough strength, there’s also some backroom changes to try and free up some more personnel for them. I wouldn’t be hugely surprised if the other Peacock gets sold off as well at some point now that it will be on its own..

Some options might be the two Lake class IPVs from New Zealand, or some reserve hulls from Damen or Lursen.

Last edited 7 months ago by sparky42
X

Lots of options for boats of that size. And the RNZN boats would be a good fit and not too old.

sparky42

It would be funny if they replace the Peacocks, pretty much the same situation as why they were bought in the first place. Might be some good slots for junior ranked officers.

X

The Peacocks were great little ships for their day. I can understand why the RN felt aggrieved when they were sold off and didn’t come home.

The UK desperately needs vessels like the Lakes or the Ozzie Armidale or Capes for the Border Agency.

sparky42

For their day, now they are pretty much the most disliked hulls in the fleet, though they were responsible for us going to the 76mm, rather than the 57mm of the EIthne.

X

Things change. There is no way anybody would sign up for the RN today if it had the accommodation standards of the 60s and 70’s. The INS got a bargain in the pair they bought.

sparky42

True enough, though the hoped for sister ships of either would have been better long term for the Navy.

sparky42

Eithne, stupid autocorrect.

4th watch

We had the two Castle OPVs which were sold off after they served in the Falklands. People speak highly of them.

X

The Castles were (are) wonderful ships. Designed to answer all the shortcomings of the Islands. It was amazing to me that the RN then purchased a class of ships some 600 tons bigger but with no flight deck just to save a pound or two.