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Common Fisheries Policy is illegal under British law

January 11th, 1993

Statement: The Common Fisheries Policy has no basis in law whatsoever, and therefore is illegal under British law.

Response: This is totally unfounded. When the UK joined the European Community it did so on the basis of accepting the “acquis communitaire”, of which the Common Fisheries Policy was part. (The CFP and its aims are defined under Articles 38 and 39 of the Treaty of Rome.) The UK’s 1972 accession Treaty confirmed this commitment. Article 102 of this treaty states that the UK would benefit from a six-year transitional period starting from its effective date of accession (and lasting until the end of 1979) to take the necessary measures to comply with the CFP. Finally the Court of Justice came out in favour of the Commission (Case 804, 1981: “the Commission against the UK”), recognising the “full and definitive” competence of the Community to establish legislation in fishery matters within the internal frontiers.


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