Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Yet another benefit of our membership of the EU

Forget passerelles, qualified majority voting, emergency brakes and enhanced co-operation.

The thing that is really worrying the citizens of the Tyneside town of Monks Heaton, and many other besides, is seagulls… or to be more accurate, urban gulls.

The gulls are moving inland, and multiplying at an alarming rate. They cause mess, noise and disruption, and are becoming so aggressive that people are afraid to leave their own homes.

Interviewed on the Today programme, however, Councillor Tom Bothwell from Lossimouth – where they have a similar problem - gave a clue as to one of the causes. Fifteen years ago, he said, there were forty fishing boats operating out of Lossimouth. The fish were gutted at sea and the gulls fed on the remains.

Now, said Cllr Bothwell, the fleet had been decimated. There was only one boat working out of the harbour. The gulls no longer had the food and they were moving inland.

There we have it. The EU's Common Fisheries Policy has struck again, and we are plagued with hoards of ravenous gulls - yet another benefit of our membership of the EU.

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