The British Government announced the launch of a consultation process aiming at the review of the competences of the European Union. According to Foreign Secretary William Hague, “The crisis in the eurozone has intensified the debate in every country on the future of Europe, and there is no exception to that here.”
Fisheries and the conservation of marine biological resources constituting one of the five exclusive competences of the EU (the other four being customs union, internal market competition rules, monetary policy and common commercial policy), the Foreign Secretary’s statement to Parliament gave it particular focus, creating fears that the UK’s ultimate aim may be the repatriation of competence on this heated policy area.
According to Secretary Hague, “Government Departments will undertake the review for the areas of EU competence for which they are responsible. For example, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will be responsible for conducting the review on the EU’s competence on fisheries, and will be jointly responsible with the Department of Energy and Climate Change for the EU’s competence on the environment.”