Brexit without reclaiming our fishing rights would be an unforgiveable folly

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Sunday 06 December 2020 15:00
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<p>What will sea fishing in the English Channel be like after Brexit negotiations?</p>

What will sea fishing in the English Channel be like after Brexit negotiations?

I voted Remain. No apologies. However, the reinstatement of fishing prerogatives as per normal international law amounted to a silver lining on the Brexit cloud. Therefore Brexit without reclaiming fishing would be madness ('What are the issues holding up a trade deal with the EU?' 5 December).

The coastal communities around the UK need the work, from more jobs in fishing through to boat building, net making and repairs. And from a consumer viewpoint, the prospect of a bigger UK internal market in diverse supplies of fish stocks would be welcome.

Finally, the benefits to Northern Irish and Scottish fishing communities would help raise morale and make for a more settled country. Things maritime are quite central to the DNA of the UK.

John Barstow

Pulborough, West Sussex

Dr John Doherty is quite right to point out that there are differences between the types of organisation represented by the EU and Nato and the UN (Letters, 4 December). But these differences do not support his argument about sovereignty.

He places the EU in a position superior to and independent of its member states, but it has no existence without its member states; all its rules and regulations are the decisions of its members working in consort. There is thus a partial pooling of sovereignty, but no surrender.

Similarly, the EU does not have a power separate from its members; indeed on many matters, individual states or regions have the power of veto. I do not believe the governments of any member states think they have surrendered sovereignty: indeed, the idea of any French government handing over any sovereignty is beyond belief.

Dr Martin Smith

Headington, Oxford

Super wealthy are preventing political reform

I totally agree with the letters from Giuseppe Enrico Bignardi and Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob (Letters, 5 December). There is a common theme here: we want real political reform and a green economy. 

The wealth gap is a major factor preventing change. When you are struggling to survive, climate change is not high on your priority list. The pandemic has brought serious deprivation into sharp focus in the UK and Europe; for the majority of the world population, poverty is the norm. 

Meanwhile rich investors make millions buying and selling pharma shares. Millionaires become billionaires. TIME magazine published an article in January reporting that the top 26 richest people own as much as the bottom four billion.

We are in the stranglehold of the real power brokers: the super wealthy who unfortunately are not as keen for reform as we are.

Paul Morrison  

Address supplied

Christmas fear

There will be tears in the woodlands if people follow Bernadette Fallon's steps ('Why I won’t be killing a tree for Christmas this year’, 5 December) and “forage” for holly, ivy, and mistletoe.

Joanna Pallister

Durham City

Princess Margaret hits the wrong note 

Penny Little’s Princess Margaret story (Letters, 4 December) won’t surprise anyone who encountered the haughty rudeness of that self-willed and spoilt princess.

Nearly 50 years ago, I sang alto in a small vocal group that was invited to perform at a house party soiree at Royal Lodge, the Queen Mother’s home in Windsor Great Park. The Queen Mother was, as everyone expected, charming and friendly, and served us snacks herself even though there were flunkeys standing by.

After we had sung, Margaret homed in on me and asked very loudly, so the entire room could hear: “Are you a counter tenor?” I confirmed that I was and she replied: “Oh, how amusing!” She walked off scornfully without another word, but while looking round the room to receive the predictable sycophantic titters.

She was of course both boasting about her knowledge of a then relatively arcane musical term, and also signalling that for her there was definitely something a bit odd about singing falsetto. Nowadays both pop stars and opera singers do it routinely.

Gavin Turner

Gunton, Norfolk  

A night at the pictures

While wholeheartedly agreeing with Janet Street Porter about the joy of being in a cinema with others ('If cinemas are forced to close, we will lose one of life’s greatest joys’, 5 December), she did, in my opinion, miss one memorable aspect of cinema going in your teens.

I mean, of course, first dates which not only got you together in the dark but also gave you a conversation afterwards, an important aspect of trying to understand a new person.

It was also a relatively cheap night out.

Richard Smith

Rugby

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