Do me out of a job, pleads fisheries lawyer
October 17 2012 Lewis Smith
Fergus Randolph QC
A Queen's Counsel who is expert in fisheries law has urged ministers and the European Parliament to make him redundant.
Fergus Randolph QC joined calls for the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to reformed, if only to close many of the gaping legal loopholes it provides lawyers.
Speaking to an audience in London he described the CFP as a “lawyer’s playground” and said that while it is “against my own best interests” it is time it is reformed.
“The Common Fisheries Policy was and still is, but hopefully will shortly not be, a sandpit for lawyers. It’s pretty complex and we can have some fun with it, to be frank, because there are quite a lot of holes to exploit,” he said.
“I very much hope that the CFP reform will go through. If that means we have to go somewhere else to find a few little pennies then so be it. Here’s to lawyers not being more involved in the new CFP.”
Mr Randolph, a barrister at Brick Court Chambers in London, also warned that the UK is losing influence on fishing in Europe because of the government’s semi-detached attitude to the European Union.
He cited Home Secretary Theresa May’s decision to exercise the government’s right to opt out of many European law and order measures as one of the reasons other member states are losing faith in the UK.
Up till now, he said, the UK has been “an important voice” in fisheries debates but he fears this will now lessen as other member states ask: “Why should we listen to you? Because you aren’t really engaged in the process.”
He cautioned: “The weight given to the UK which has traditionally been very strong on fishing matters may be less.”
Mr Randolph was called to the bar in 1985 and has wide experience in EU and competition law.
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