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It is right to ask *why* industries like fishing have declined. The problem is the blithe assumption that the answer must always be "because of the EU". The problems facing the UK fishing industry long predate EU membership, and will not be magically solved by Brexit. [THREAD]

1. Fishing had been declining for much of the twentieth century. The number of UK fishermen more than halved in mid-century: from nearly 48,000 in 1938 to 21,000 in 1970. By 1970 - the year *before* the UK signed the Treaty of Accession - fishing made up less than 0.1% of UK GDP.

2. That decline had many causes. A century of over-fishing had left stocks dangerously depleted. Younger generations were moving out, in search of safer and better-paid work inland. And the "Cod Wars" with Iceland (1958-76) triggered the collapse of the Atlantic trawler fleet.

3. The "Cod Wars", in which Iceland expelled GB trawlers from its waters, were a grim reminder (a) that other states have sovereignty too & (b) that power-politics still exist outside the EU. For Cold-War reasons, the US backed Iceland. The UK had to fold.

4. There were other challenges, too. In the early 1970s, Norway & Iceland were dumping large quantities of frozen fish on the British market, driving down prices for domestic suppliers. The fishing fleet badly needed investment for modernisation but was struggling to raise funds.

Let's unpack this

"Since Brussels is convinced"

I like that

Personalise it to Brussels

Not 27 EU nations, our friends, neighbours

"convinced that leaving is an unprecedented act of self-harm"

it has been an act of self-harm

see the damage so far

see why no deal has to be sold as an Australia style deal

see why it has to be hidden within the "massive success" of covid

"it could be proved right"

See UK government forecasts

Not a single one positive

See Liz Truss - unable to explain how any trade deal will make us better off

But not to worry we will "mightily prosper"

"I don't see why they want to crib and confine the UK"

The UK is asking for a deal

The EU will offer one

If the UK doesn't like it well perhaps you should have thought of that before selling simplist fantasy bullshit to lie to voters
Short thread need. To be clear - getting agreements, even continuity ones, is good news for the UK and an achievement for those who have worked on them in such a short, pressured period of time.

But to claim, as Steve Baker does, that this is a UK strength is false. /1

First, it hardly needs to be said that a continuity agreement is not the same as a new agreement from scratch. The current EU agreements were negotiated with the UK as a Member State, so the UK's interests were already built in. /2

The proof of this can be seen by comparing agreements (eg. the new Japan-UK and EU-Japan) side by side. The differences are often due to the lack of need of details such as what the equivalent of 'lawyer' is in 24 official EU languages. /3

So, the UK is able to piggy-back on the long-term negotiations that took place by the EU. In the case of Japan, I was a stagiaire in the Commission in Tokyo right at the start of the pre-pre-negotiation process ... in 2000-1! /4

Is the EU particularly cumbersome? There is an argument to be made than the UK (or any single state) could act more nimbly because of the lack of need to integrate the interests of 27+ Member States. BUT is there any evidence of this? Not really. /5
Here's a list of all my threads on the fall of Dhaka. I dedicate this small effort to the soldiers who fought valiantly for their country in 1971. May Allah bless their souls and also of those in East Pakistan who were martyred in the cause of Pakistan.


1. Myth of three million Bengali, 2 lac women raped by Pakistan Army

2. Mukti Bahini the forgotten terrorists

3. Why was Operation Search Light launched

4. Myth of Bengalis being discriminated during the selection process for the armed forces.

5. The nexus of RAW and Mukti Bahini

6. The Bengali representation in bureaucracy

7. Tragedy of #EastPakistan

8. Forgotten Massacres in East Pakistan