Siol nan Gaidheal
Fisheries

ANNEXATION

Siol nan Gaidheal condemns without reservation the quite incredible annexation of 6000 square miles of Scottish territorial waters by the English government. As part - ostensibly - of the legislative changes effected under the “Scotland Act”, Westminster has handed over a huge area of Scottish fishing grounds in the North Sea to England, moving the legal boundary between Scottish and English fisheries some 60 miles north from Berwick on Tweed to Carnoustie. Such a surreptitious move, in the first few days of the supposedly autonomous parliament in Edinburgh, would in any other situation constitute an act of war. That Scotland does not, for the moment at any rate, have a fleet of naval patrol vessels (*See our proposals for such deployment on our defence pages) to defend its fisheries and in this case regain control (through force of arms) of our sovereign waters, should not create the impression in the minds of our Unionist enemies on either side of the border that this piracy will be taken lying down in the great tradition of weak acquiescence so beloved of colonial sycophants. Already the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and the Scottish White Fish Producers Association have indicated that they will fight this tooth and nail and that in the words of one of their spokesmen this could well constitute “the thin end of the wedge” in terms of further territorial gerrymandering by the increasingly desperate Anglo-British State.

While the issue here is not one of access to the waters in question but rather a transfer of legal jurisdiction and administrative competence, fishing leaders in our country argue that Scottish sovereignty extends to the hitherto established territorial waters by virtue of our quite separate legal authority. Such an outrageous trampling of our sovereign competence, carried out without the slightest regard for the concerns and sensibilities of Scotland’s already beleaguered fishing industry or the merest hint of consultation with the Scottish public at large leaves leaders in the industry and indeed ourselves in no doubt whatsoever that England will continue to claw as much of our territorial waters as they can get away with. The reasons for this are every bit as transparent as the British Labour Party’s claims to transparency are bogus.

On the point of negotiating independence, Scotland will undoubtedly have to fight off entirely fatuous yet highly predictable claims to her territorial waters and most significantly the oil, mineral and fishing rights thereto. Let no-one misunderstand what is being set in motion here. As Siol nan Gaidheal has said time and again in the past, the death throes of Mother England will be a long drawn out process during which Scotland will need to remain steadfast in the defence of its sovereign rights. The redrawing of borders and territorial claims based on nothing more than imperial arrogance cannot go unanswered. The resolve of both the Scottish Parliament and those involved in the vindication of Scottish rights generally must in the short term be focussed on revoking this belligerent diktat. If carte blanche is given to the English to pursue their last imperial ventures, seeking to retrieve some of the wealth that Scottish independence would deny them, then these perennially perfidious imperialists will stop at nothing to rob our country of everything worth having. Short of answering fire with fire, we must insist that our newly elected representatives, not least of whom stand the SNP, work remorselessly to overturn this decision. Siol nan Gaidheal is committing itself, as of now, to such a campaign.


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