BRITAIN has voted to leave the European Union. What happens next will raise much debate, and there have been differing views over how it could all affect fishing holidays on the continent.
The big vote on whether to withdraw from the European Union, after 43 years, has been subject to considerable debate in recent weeks. Interest in the future is sure to intensify after the outcome was confirmed.
A massive 72 % turnout proved how many people really care about the issues. Leave won by 52% to 48% of the vote. England and Wales voted strongly for Brexit, while London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backed staying in the EU.
In the run-up to the crucial vote, many anglers made clear their views that better protection of British inland and coastal fisheries was an important issue to them amid the complex and wide-ranging debates.
One of the ways many British anglers come into direct contact with Europe has been through holidaying abroad, with carp fishing in France being an area of continued growth in recent years.
The boss of the biggest operator of carp fishing holidays in France, believes that in the short-term leaving the European Union would be bad for business – but in the longer term it shouldn’t make much difference.
How might holiday costs be affected?
Angling Lines chief David Keep told Angler’s Mail on the eve of the referendum: “A ‘no’ (leaving European Union) vote is very likely to lead to a fall in the value of the pound against the Euro, which will make our holidays more expensive.
“Also if all the economists are right and Brexit leads to a recession, then people will generally have less money to spend and this is bound to affect demand for holidays abroad.
“Currently our business is booming and we are on target for a record year.
“I wouldn’t anticipate that leaving would bring any problems in travelling to France, which due to our close connection through the tunnel is very unlikely to bring in the need for visas, although it might happen with other countries further away”
Implications on anglers’ travel?
Monster carp specialist Warren Harrison has been very concerned that leaving Europe will make travel around the continent more difficult and expensive.
Warren, who makes regular trips to Euro-Aqua in Hungary from where he holds the overseas-caught carp record for a Brit of 101 lb 8 oz, said: “Anglers these days are spreading their wings and going much further afield to places like Croatia, Bulgaria as well as Hungary.
“I’ve had at least 20 phone calls from angling mates who are worried that travel will be affected and costs increased.”
“I have been fishing overseas for 25 years. Currently I go through the channel tunnel and drive through France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Austria with no trouble at all.
“There are no border crossings to negotiate and no fees apart from needing a temporary car licence in Austria which costs 9 Euros.
“If you get caught without one you are fined 250 Euros. If we aren’t in the EU I could see more of these kinds of fees being introduced, and possible restrictions at borders,” added Manchester-based Warren.
Match fishing traveller Dick Clegg’s view
The Angling Trust decided not to express an official view on the referendum but retiring England international events manager Dick Clegg has said he can’t see the outcome of the vote making a great deal of difference either way for travelling anglers.
Dick added: “Mind you, at the outset of my time fishing abroad we did experience a few problems with delays at border crossings and occasionally even had items of fishing tackle confiscated.
“It also can be more of a problem fishing outside of the EU – Serbia, for example won’t allow certain types of groundbait to be brought into the country.
“And last year the (senior) England Team was forced to withdraw from a match in Belarus due to a mixture of issues, including security and visa problems,” who has enjoyed an heroic run of success with various England match fishing teams.
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