VIDEO BELOW (TEXT INCLUDED IF YOU PREFER TO READ):
Once again a UK Tory government has decided that its own fishermen are sacrificial pawns in the great EU debate.
Fishermen across the UK are up in arms over the the dangers to their industry that the Brexit transition phase agreement poses.
In response they are staging a mass protest tomorrow across the country, including the burning of EU flags as well as a fishing boat being put to the torch in Whitstable.
The organisers of the protest, Fishing for Leave said:
"The Transition is not just a 21 month delay but a death sentence for what’s left of the British fishing industry as the EU will be free to enforce and impose detrimental rules on us to cull what’s left of the UK fleet.
"This would then allow the EU to use international law, UNCLOS Article 62.2, which says if a nation no longer has the capacity to catch its own resources it must give the surplus to its neighbours."
It also means that the UK could actually lose full control of its fishing grounds including out to the 12 mile limit. Ponder on that!
So you can see that our whole UK fishing industry is being set up, on purpose, by the EU and the Tories to fail! It has been hammered by decades of EU control and is now being hammered in a totally shameful way by a domestic government.
And Fishing for Leave continues:
"Fishermen are sickened and enraged that our government has capitulated to obeying all EU law after Brexit. Consigning us to remaining trapped in the disastrous CFP until January 2021, and possibly trapped forever in exchange for a trade deal.
"The transition is a second betrayal of fishing, of the Brexit vote, of an opportunity and is a second surrender of our communities.
"Our communities might not matter to them but they matter to us. Coastal communities count. MPs better remember that and that No deal is better than a bad deal or these flotillas will just be the start."
Wonder how many Remainers would dare to show up and counter-protest those angry fishermen?
Now, what may have passed many by is that the foreign aid budget increased to £14 billion last year. That's an increase of £555 million on the previous year.
The reason for this is that the UK is committed to the UN target of spending 0.7 percent of its Gross National Income on foreign aid and our GNI went up last year – and I have to throw this one in for the Remainers, 'despite Brexit' – so our commitment to foreign aid also rose.
Now I will also point out that this is 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (or GNI), not Gross National Product (or GDP) which is how some people mistakenly quote it – what's the difference?
Well, from my calculations from using my favourite search engine GNI is about one percent more than GDP and that's because GDP is a measure of all wealth generated in the country whereas GNI is a measure of all our wealth generated across the planet.
It does not sound much of a difference, but when you're dealing with somewhere in the region of two trillion pounds then a one percent difference of anything can amount to a huge figure. In this case about £140 million.
And according to the tax summary I just got from HMRC, foreign aid made up over one percent of my tax.
Now, because of the aid budget requirement to spend 0.7 percent of GNI, we are obliged to actually give it away. It's a minimum spend, not a maximum spend. Yes, that's right we have to actually give all that money away every year – it is a requirement that our governments have written into law and insist happens – even though it's not actually legally enforceable.
Now, also bear in mind that we only hit the 0.7 percent target for the first time in 2013 and to do so we have had to throw stacks of money at some very rich countries, some pretty dubious projects and a lot in untraceable cash.
And did you realise that under the rules we are not able to use this aid money to help British overseas territories ravaged by storms and the like?
On top that, in reality, the money does not come from earnings, it gets added to the national debt and according to my tax summary national debt interest took up 5.5 percent of the tax I paid last year without paying a penny of the principal amount back.
Both Red and Blue UK governments seem very happy to firehose our money about don't they?
I say we cull foreign aid back and only hand it out where provably necessary and don't have a target, have a cap. And set that cap much lower as we need this money here in the UK, not to hand out to countries with space programmes that don't want it, not to countries that detest us and definitely not to projects just because we need to give the money to someone.
UKIP is calling for the aid budget to be brought down to 0.2 percent of GNI, which would save the UK about £10 billion a year. The party Leader, Gerard Batten, said:
“It’s a disgrace that we are increasing our foreign aid spending when our social services and military are combatting cutbacks. How can it be right that we are sending more money to countries like India, which has its own space programme, or to dangerous regimes with atrocious human rights records like Iran?
“UKIP calls for a radical reduction in the foreign aid budget so that more of British taxpayers’ money is spent on vital services here at home.”
And finally, the Times is reporting that the government is doing exactly what all Brexiteers think it should be doing and that is stepping up work on contingency plans for a hard Brexit.
The Times says it has got hold of new documents from 300 across government departments that detail worst case scenario plans.
"The move comes as senior officials grow concerned at the lack of progress in behind-the-scenes Brexit talks in Brussels. The British negotiating team have yet to unveil any workable new solutions for the border, which has brought deadlock to the talks." Says the Times report.
As I've said before the better we plan for a no-deal Brexit, the more likely we are to get a good deal.