Visiting Grimsby Fabians

Did an interview with one of the new local TV stations – Estuary TV, based in North Lincs. Good set of questions asked by its reporter James Dunn, though I doubt they’ll use the full 18 minutes of questions and answers we did!

Then a lively meeting with the Grimsby Fabians. As one would expect of Fabians, a well-informed audience asking intelligent questions and making some very good points. One was about the particular challenge of campaigning about the EU, characterised by a battle between perception and reality, when the former is largely fuelled by fantasies repeated time and again in parts of the media and by certain politicians, with no regard for facts.

The single most telling fact? Maybe this statistic, which doesn’t come from any political party but from British industry, the CBI: every household in this country is on average £3000 a year better off thanks to Britain’s EU membership.

In Grimsby, of course, one of the issues to come up was the Common Fishing Policy and its recent reforms. Managing fish stocks is one area where European countries simply have to take decisions jointly, as fish have the unfortunate habit of swimming from one country’s waters to another!

Until recently, the European Parliament didn’t have a say in fishing policy — decisions were taken by national fishing ministers alone. But now the rules have been reformed to include Parliament. Now, reforms offer hope for improvement in what has historically been one of the EU’s least successful policy areas.

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