On his return to London from Brussels on Sunday (12 December), Britain's Common Market negotiator, Mr.
LV Rippon off aircraft and along terminal corridor
CV Rippon interviewed by BBC's Martin Bell
(SEQ. 2): (RIPPON) "No, frankly I think it's a very satisfactory arrangement. We set out to secure safeguards for our legitimate fishing interests....that I believe we've done."
(BELL) "But you originally asked for a continuing arrangement."
(RIPPON) "Well there were a lot of formulas bundled around. I complained in the House of Commons on November 11th that we'd got a little bit involved at times in theology, but we've accepted from the outset that we didn't want permanent arrangements....nothing is permanent in this world.... and for other purposes we aren't obviously to have reviews for our own purposes. On the other hand, we couldn't be satisfied with the transition period. So what we've got now in effect is substantially the status quo for ten years, followed by an open review when we'll be full members of the community exercising our full influence. I don't thing there'll be any difficulty in maintaining our legitimate fishing interests."
(BELL) "Do you think that the deal you've made is going to be hard to sell, politically, here at home?"
(RIPPON) "Well, it depends, I mean there are some people who were determined to have a sell-out whatever happened....I mean, they cried "sell-out" before we'd even concluded negotiations, or heard what the deal was. I think people who really look at it objectively will see that we have got safeguards we sought. Of course, a lot of people have looked just at the review clause....analysed it in a rather dramatic way....they haven't really cottoned onto the extent to which the twelve-mile limits we've negotiated do substantially protect our existing rights."
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Background: On his return to London from Brussels on Sunday (12 December), Britain's Common Market negotiator, Mr. Geoffrey Rippon, expressed his satisfaction over the terms finalised on fishing rights. This issue had been the only one, involved in British entry to the Common Market, which remained to be argued and finalised.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Geoffrey Rippon....Britain's Common Market negotiator....has concluded a Fishing Agreement with member countries in Brussels. The question of fishing rights was the last issue remaining to be settled in fixing Britain's terms of entry. Martin Bell asked him if he was disappointed in the agreement.