Thursday, 7 February 2013

Defra says Express article on 'EU plot to seize Britain's seabed' is 'not true'

Yesterday, the Daily Express 'revealed' what it claimed was the latest 'EU plot':

John Ingham's story claimed:

Brussels was...proposing to take control of Britain’s seabed.

The European Commission in the UK issued a statement in response which said:

In reality, the EU is no more seizing power over the UK’s seabed than measures to protect birds, would mean seizure of UK airspace...

It is not about the transfer of powers to the EU, or seizure of sovereignty over the UK’s seabed, or the rights to minerals, such as oil or gas. Nor is it about controlling the fish above the seabed.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs also responded - mentioning the story in their 'Myth Busters' section:

The Myth: The Daily Express has reported that one of the amendments being debated by the European Parliament on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy would allow the EU to seize control of Britain’s seabed. The piece claimed that critics have said that if passed the amendment could lead to the EU claiming rights to minerals such as oil and gas.

The Truth: This is not true. Even if agreed by the European Parliament, this amendment would not change the sovereignty of our sea bed or give the EU new powers. The proposed amendment would have no practical effect, nor would it have any bearing on mineral extraction. The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy is intended to stop overfishing, boost fish stocks and improve the health of our seas. The UK does not support this amendment as it will not help to tackle the fundamental failings of the Common Fisheries Policy.

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