Article 155.3 of the 1985 Act of Accession of Spain and Portugal was the Treaty law sub article that was supposed to guarantee that MEPs from the sub states of Scotland and Northern Ireland would never have to start doing too much defensive work for the fish that actually swam and insufficient work for our peoples in the political mainstream.
It was the Treaty law that recognised the simple fact that our sub states didn’t have, and could never get, enough MEPs to do the two jobs of representing our peoples and defending our fishing interests in a Parliiament full of MEPs from landlocked places, from lesser fishing regions and from Mediterranean and other zones that didn’t participate in the common fisheries policy.
It recognised that there was an ugly risk that if critical decision making on fisheries were ever to be taken into the biased and incompetent Community system, Scottish and Northern Irish MEPs might be miraculously transformed into something that they don’t have the genetics to be or to become: part time representatives of our people and part time defenders of the beast!
Its purpose was to ensure that none of Europe’s other nations would be able to outvote Scottish MEPs on fisheries provisions that had to remain sacrosanct for representational reasons..
That’s why it is a thundering disgrace that the Brits and the Spanish have spent the last 30 years conspiring within the Community system to try to subvert, corrupt, circumvent and abandon this essential Treaty law.. As a result of their malevolence, MEPs from Scotland and Northern Ireland can’t outvote MEPs from any other European nation on fisheries provisions that weren’t supposed to be open to negotiation within the biased and incompetent Community system.
Article 155.3 was “ring fenced” and protected in a very special way. It was presented in a “golden ring” of Treaty law in the most important first section of the most important first fish(eries chapter) to be caught in this Act and it was deliberately intended to put Scottish constitutional lawyers in mind of the ancient Glasgow miracle of “the fish that never swam”.
If Glasgow’s most famous fish that never swam and the new Queen of Strathclyde were to investigate what became of this golden ring of Treaty law, Nicola Sturgeon would find that Commissioner Bruce Milan, an ancient Labour King of the Gorbals, and Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s cousin, Sir Leon Britan, chucked it in the River Clyde in 1989 and that Scottish MEPs have been expected to do too much defensive work for the common fish and insufficient work for the city of the fish that never swam ever since.
Ms Ferguson Sturgeon was born in Burns Country and her favourite tune is my love is like a red red rose. If she probed further, she would find that the fundamental founding principle of the Common Fisheries Policy was born on a Burns Night in 1983 and that it wasn’t open to amendment, suspension or repeal within the Community system which was acknowledged to be dangerously anti.Celtic in the field of the control and management of fisheries resources.
She would find that John Major illegally extended majority voting in the fisheries sector in 1992 and that he and his successors illegally took us out of the Burns Night Policy and into a series of new fish policies with England and Spain that proved to be very low trust and very high maintenance for MEPs from Scotland and and Northern Ireland if not elsewhere.
We ended up with a fish Policy that might work for me if only all of Scotland’s seas had gone dry and the continent’s rocks had melted wi’ the sun: if only Common fish lived where MEPs lived and not in the North Sea and Eastern Atlantic or if only common fish could vote in Scotland and Northern Ireland! If only Scotland and Northern Ireland were normal European Nations, with their own seats in the Council and the Commission and with more than twice as many MEPs per capita as we got as sub states in two unions.
Ms Sturgeon went to Glasgow University, If she studied the golden ring some more she might find that the crest and motto of her alma mater provides an ideal “skeleton key” to unlock all of the dark mysteries of the past of old European fish law.
She would find a tree that never grew in the Burns Night policy that was illegally hacked down in its prime
She would find a bird that never flew in the guise of the Canary that got the Canary Islands’ opt out from the CFP in 1985. That little birdie sang out for attention. For essential democratic reasons Scotland and Northern Ireland ought to have been opted out of the same CFP as England and Spain when John Major illegally extended majority voting in 1992.
She may find a bell that never rang for the human souls who live within earshot of Glasgow in the legal opinion on Article 155 provided by the Scots fish minister, Ross Finnie in 2002. It rang out in error for lemon soles off Lanzarote!
Via veritas vita should remind her of the resurrection and help her to see that it is the job of Scotland’s disciples in the European Parliament to serve as fishers of humankind and not fishers of fish. They all ought to have felt free not to have to serve in the political backwaters of biased and incompetent fish committees to service the needs of the 1% of the Scots who are fishermen. But up to 4/7ths of our MEPs felt it necessary to serve in this Committee to fend off predatory attacks on our “non negotiable “ and “un-amendable” fishing interests. This left us woefully underrepresented in the other 19 more important mainstream committees.
With the best will in the world, the SNPs MEPs couldn’t serve as stand ins for “uk” Ministers and “uk” Commissioners who were guilty of gross negligence and derelictions of their duties in the Council and the Commission and they could never win in a Parliament full of MEPs from landlocked places, from lesser fishing regions, from Mediterranean and other zones that didn’t participate in the policy and of British politicians who steadfastly refused to uphold and respect the primary and Treaty law guarantees that permitted Scotland and Northern Ireland to be in the CFP.
If she asked me, I could tell her that I had a “Tam o’Shanter nightmare of a ride” working in the European Parliament and witnessing the grotesquely perverse and ridiculous consequences for Scottish voters of the implosion of the Burns Night Policy within the biased and incompetent Community system.
I know that Nicola Sturgeon’s mum, Joan, is not a mermaid, that Ruth Davidson’s son Finn was not born with a fin, that Richard Leonard shouldn’t be permitted to feel more fishy living and voting in Scotland than he did in his native Yorkshire, that Willie Rennie didn’t learn in his biology classes in Paisley that humans could be crossed with common fish and that Patrick Harvie would be deemed to be daft if he went deep sea diving to canvas support for the Greens. I know that my equals in England and Europe don’t wear fins, gills, scales and fish tails. I know that all of my ancestors and all of their descendants including Fergus, the first king of Scots, Robert the Bruce, Ms Sturgeon and the Queen weren’t and aren’t mermaids and mermen.
There would have to be mermaids and mermen hiding in many castles and palaces and humble abodes around Europe to justify my current condition!
That’s why I know the Lisbon Treaty, its infamous Article 50 and its bizarre fisheries provisions
can’t be binding on the peoples of Scotland and Northern Ireland and why Article 155.3 of the 1985 Act of Accession provides a more appropriate legal basis for the SEXIT and NIEXIT strands of the BREXIT negotiations than article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which only provides an adequate legal basis for EEXIT..
It reads as follows:
The Council, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission shall determine, where appropriate. the possibilities and conditions of mutual access to respective fishing zones and to the resources thereof”
It was never legal, ethical, moral or acceptable far less “appropriate” within the meaning of this text for Brits in the Community system to permit Europe to rely on qualified majority voting and backdoor machinations to take Scotland out of the original.Burns.night policy or into a series of new fish policies that proved to be very low trust and very high maintenance for MEPs from Scotland and Northern Ireland if not elsewhere.
Having illegally forced us to effectively share our MEPs with cold blooded critters, Westminster Governments have forfeited the right to pretend that they can be trusted to safely negotiate our fisheries or other interests on behalf of the Scottish people.
Boris will simply have to grant the Scottish Government and Parliament a greater say on SEXIT than Mrs May has been prepared to grant them hitherto. He won’t be able to give us 7 additional seats in the European Parliament for the fish that never voted in Scotland, but maybe the European Parliament could do that in transforming our existing MEPs into applicant state observers.
It should be noted that there is no time limit for the completion of negotiations under Article 155.3 and that the scope for the debate on the possibilities and conditions of mutual access to respective fishing zones is wide open. Article 155.3 could provide Europe with an excellent Treaty law basis to fast track a Scottish application for continued EU membership. This could give us more time to reflect on whether we wished to SEXIT from Europe, to SEXIT from the UK which treated us like common fish Or to SEXIT from both.
I’m quite satisfied that we could have survived quite happily in Europe, and even in the CFP if we had our own seats in the Council and the Commission and with more than twice as many MEPs/capita as we got as sub states in two unions. Denmark and Ireland did. That’s why I was happy to cast my vote on 25 years of British corruption in the running of the CFP by voting for Scottish independence in Europe in 2014.
If I voted with heavy heart for Remain it wasn’t because I’d given up hope in the European dream or in Europe’s capacity to solve genuine political problems. It was because I knew I’d have to push my grotesquely perverse and ridiculous and miraculously sublime story into the public domain. I didn’t think my compatriots could believe such a bi polar story!.
Meantime, Boris will simply have to devolve complete authority for all decisions concerning the control and management of our fisheries resources to the Scottish Parliament without any further delay.
I think that the Scottish Government could best respect its obligations under the CFP by imposing a moratorium on all English and continental fishing in our fishing zones pending a unanimous vote in the Council on the possibilities and conditions of future access to our fishing zones and to the resources thereof that meets with the Scottish Parliament’s approval.
We can never be adequately compensated for the way our will to fully engage in the European Project was thwarted by monumental British incompetence and deplorable bad faith in the running of the CFP. However we ought to be able to claim damages from Westminster for the millions of tonnes of fish that have been illegally caught in our fishing zones since the prejudice commenced in 1989, including the 6,000 square miles of Scottish sea that weren’t legally annexed by England with a unanimous vote in Europe n 1999.
Burns taught us to celebrate our national weaknesses and not to dwell on them. But the story of how the Brits circumvented the fish that never swam Treaty law guarantee to abandon the Burns night policy that was designed to prevent us from sharing our MEPs with a lower life form than man deserves to be the talk of the steamie for generations to come. Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
The prejudice was so significant that I do think we’ll need some poetic justice and a miracle solution at the end of this sorry Burns Night tale! Ms Sturgeon leads the only Scottish Party that seriously tried to defend “relative stability”. She owns Article 155.3. She should trigger it before Boris humiliates Scottish voters any further!