LETTERS : Floundering fishing policy

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The Independent Online
From Mr T. K. Holman Sir: Your editorial about Britain's declining fish industry argues its case well. However, I'm not sure that the quote about our island as "a block of coal surrounded by fish" is quite accurate.

It was, I believe, Harold Wilson who described Britain as being "built on coal and surrounded by oil". This only highlights still further our economic decline - yet another natural resource exploited and frittered away to fund the so-called "economic miracle" of the late 1980s.

It staggers me that the "Euro-sceptics", having supported the run-down of our traditional industries, argue that the country could now detach itself from the European Community and survive economically on its own. No, no, no! We can only survive by developing newer industries and skills and trading them in the European market place.

The dispute over fishing rights certainly doesn't help the pro-Europe argument. But now that Britain is built on rubble and surrounded by very little, the larger economic issues give us no choice but full participation in the Community.

Yours faithfully, T. K. HOLMAN Brighton 2 January