News: Letter to The Times: Cabinet carnage, fishing rights and free ports

26 July 2019

Sir, The story of the former UK trade envoy’s resignation over the Department for International Trade’s mismanagement of an £800 million trade deal with Canada is sadly familiar (“No-deal Brexit: trade envoy quits over ‘cack-handed’ planning”, Jul 23). The Hull-based trawlers of our company, UK Fisheries, comprise the bulk of the UK’s distant waters fleet, yet all of our attempts to secure assurances from the DIT for the future of the UK distant-waters fishing industry in a no-deal Brexit have met with stalling, inexplicable dogma and incomprehension.

We trust that, under Liz Truss, the DIT will understand that the UK must not open up access to its lucrative markets for fisheries products to those trading partners around the North Sea who do not allow our distant-waters fleet to continue fishing off Norway (including Svalbard), Greenland and elsewhere. Under Liam Fox, the DIT has not deployed our most important bargaining chip in these post-Brexit trade talks, even though this represents an immediate risk to our centuries-old industry.

Now that the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas is calling for a 70 per cent cut in the 2020 cod catch from the UK’s own North Sea waters in an attempt to preserve stocks, it is even more important that our distant-waters fleet be allowed to continue fishing its traditional and bountiful waters.

Sir Barney White-Spunner
Chairman of the advisory board, UK Fisheries, Hull


Kirkella tour
Kirkella in Hull
Kirkella on the Humber
Kirkella Port 2
Kirkella Bow 2
Kirkella Birdseye 2
Kirkella Naming Ceremony and VIP Reception
Kirkella lunch party at Cutty Sark Museum
Kirkella Great British Fish & Chips event at Greenwich
Kirkella speech by HRH The Princess Royal
Kirkella passing through Tower Bridge
Kirkella BBC News
HRH The Princess Royal names Kirkella
Kirkella cutaway animation
Sir Barney White-Spunner, UK Fisheries Ltd, Interview
Kirkella General Tour
Kirkella Factory Tour


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Kirkella on Humber
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Kirkella drone footage
Kirkella drone footage
The Kirkella Naming celebration lunch at the Cutty Sark Museum
The Fish Fryers free fish & chip event at Cutty Sark Gardens for 2,500 locals
The City of Hull Brass Band at Cutty Sark Gardens
Sir Barney White-Spunner, Chairman of the Advisory Board, UK Fisheries, at the Kirkella Naming celebration dinner at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Kirkella sailing upstream through Tower Bridge
Kirkella sailing downstream through Tower Bridge
HRH The Princess Royal with Graham Barney, Factory Manager, Kirkella
HRH The Princess Royal with Charlie Waddy, First Mate, on the bridge of Kirkella
HRH The Princess Royal unveiling a model of Kirkella presented by UK Fisheries to the National Maritime Museum
HRH The Princess Royal Naming Kirkella at Greenwich
HRH The Princess Royal meeting Stig Maersk, Musical Director, and players in the City of Hull Brass Band
HRH The Princess Royal making her address at the Kirkella Naming Ceremony in Greenwich
2,500 local people in Greenwich enjoying free Kirkella-caught cod & chips
Sir Barney White-Spunner, Chairman of the Advisory Board, UK Fisheries Ltd
UK Fisheries infographic
Kirkella poster
Cutaway illustration of Kirkella
UK Fisheries Ltd logo