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Displaying items by tag: Brexit

In the UK the Government, according to Belfast Telegraph, is set to pay for work on post-Brexit port checks in Northern Ireland, DAERA Minister Edwin Poots has said.

The DUP MLA told the BBC that the UK Government would now pay for the work after he reportedly proposed pausing it due to the current political uncertainty around Brexit.

In the summer, the Government said enhanced regulatory checks would be required on animals and food products crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain to Northern Ireland under the terms of the Brexit deal.

The Executive assumed a legal responsibility to undertake the work for the Government to enable it to fulfil its international obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement.

However, Mr Poots expressed a reluctance to commit an estimated £40m to the project without further clarity. Click for more here

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to a fisheries agreement with the UK that protects Ireland’s fishing industry post-Brexit.

Industry representatives attended the meeting today, Wednesday 16 September, where they emphasised that unity with other EU member states and institutions is key.

They also expounded on the serious implications for the Irish fishing industry and coastal communities without a fisheries agreement with the UK — or any deal which grants the UK’s demands for a greater share of fish stocks and restricted access to UK fishing grounds.

In response, Minister McConalogue said he would continue to “press for a fisheries agreement with the UK that protects the mandate and upholds both existing quota shares and existing reciprocal access to UK waters”. He acknowledged the importance of such an agreement being linked to any future trade deal.

The minister also listened to industry concerns regarding the Statutory Instrument on points for serious infringements of the Common Fisheries Policy.

He explained Ireland’s position and noted the commitment of all to effective controls to protect the valuable fishing resources in Ireland’s 200-mile zone, and the need for the country to meet its EU obligations in the area.

Speaking later, Minister McConalogue said: “I was very glad to have the opportunity today to meet with the fishing industry representatives.

“We had a very useful exchange on the challenges for the sector posed by the UK’s exit from the EU and the Statutory Instrument on points. I intend to continue this close engagement with the fishing industry going forward.”

Published in Fishing
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The European Commission president has warned the British government not to backtrack on its commitments in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement pertaining to fishing rights, among other issues.

Ursula von der Leyen spoke out on Twitter as a furore has grown over leaked diplomatic cables seen by the Guardian which indicate that the UK intends to hold back on compromise on outstanding issues such as fisheries to provoke a last-minute “trade off”.

As the final round of negotiations gets under way in London today, Tuesday 8 September, Whitehall has also been accused of “introducing” a new “concept” with regards to access for European fishing fleets in British waters — which intersect with Irish waters in a number of key areas.

The UK government position is apparently now that “80% of the common stocks” are designated as “priority stocks” for British fishermen.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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Supertrawlers spent almost twice as much time fishing in the UK’s protected waters in the first half of this year than in the whole of 2019, according to an investigation by Greenpeace.

As the Guardian reports, supertrawlers spent 5,590 hours fishing in 19 of the UK’s marine protected areas between 1 January and 30 June this year.

Much of that time overlapped with coronavirus restrictions that saw most of the UK’s regular fishing fleet confined to port with the collapse of their biggest markets.

And the figure also represents a massive increase in the 475 hours in total fishing of protected areas recorded just three years ago, as the Greenpeace data reveals.

The news follows fears of “skirmishes at sea” from Rockall to the English Channel in the event of a no-deal Brexit when the Irish fleet moves to asserts its “moral right to greater access to its own waters”.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

The latest Marine Notice from the Irish Maritime Administration compiles links to a series of updated notices from the European Commission on the legal and practical implications arising at the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December this year.

The seven readiness notices comprise the following:

The Commission Communication of 9 July 2020 highlights the importance for stakeholders of ensuring their readiness for the automatic changes arising following the end of the transition period as of 1 January 2021.

These Commission-published notices are intended to facilitate preparation by EU-27 member states and by wider stakeholders in the areas concerned for the end of the UK’s transition period on 31 December 2020.

Published in Irish Ports
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A Welsh MP has claimed the granting of a freeport status to the (ferry)port of Holyhead could “transform” the fortunes of the town and Anglesey as a whole.

The Government, writes NorthWalesLive, has already promised to create up to 10 freeports across the UK after Brexit.

Being included in such a free port zone would mean that they would be considered to be outside of the UK for customs purposes — meaning companies could import and export goods without paying the usual tariffs.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is widely reported to be planning to open bidding for towns, cities and regions to become freeports in his autumn budget.

Such reports suggest the ports would be “fully operational” within 18 months of the UK leaving the customs union and single market at the end of this year.

Virginia Crosbie, in a pre-election pledge, promised to campaign for Holyhead to be given such status which she said would “put Holyhead on the international map” as well as “unleash hundreds of new, good quality jobs” and boost tourism.

For more on the north Wales ferryport (incl. the cruise sector) click here. 

Published in Ferry

Negotiations with the UK over future fisheries arrangements were the focus of the first meeting between Ireland’s new Marine Minister, Barry Cowen, and the EU Fisheries Commissioner this past week.

Meeting virtually with Virginius Sinkevičius on Thursday (9 July) from his department’s Tullamore offices, Minister Cowen discussed the importance of the EU’s agreed Brexit negotiation mandate to “uphold existing reciprocal access conditions, quota shares and traditional activity of the Union fleet”.

Minister Cowen said: “This was a very useful first discussion with Commissioner Sinkevičius and it was important to be able to talk first-hand with the commissioner about Ireland’s concerns in relation to the potential negative impacts for our fishing communities in Ireland if we do not put in place a fair and balanced Fisheries Agreement with the UK.

“I reiterated this Government’s full support for the EU negotiating mandate and my confidence that the commissioner and [EU chief negotiator] Michel Barnier will continue to be strong defenders of Irish and EU fishing interests.

“It is clear to me that the negotiations on a fisheries agreement can only be successfully considered in the overall context of the wider EU/UK future relationship agreement and leveraging this will be vital in protecting our coastal communities”.

The minister and Commissioner Sinkevičius also discussed non-Brexit-related fisheries issues such as measures against illegal fishing, and Ireland’s commitment to promoting sustainability in setting quotas and fishing methods, as well as the future European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund.

Published in Fishing
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Fisheries Minister Michael Creed has welcomed a briefing on the EU’s fisheries negotiations with the UK from Brussels’ chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

Minister Creed attended the meeting yesterday (Tuesday 26 May) with Barnier and Fisheries Commissioner Virginius Sinkevicius which involved ministers from member states most impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, including France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The ministers were given an update by Barnier on the state of play in the negotiations on a fisheries agreement with the UK after three rounds of discussions have been completed.

The meeting focused on the EU negotiating mandate for these discussions, which sets down the EU position to “uphold existing reciprocal access conditions, quota shares and traditional activity of the Union fleet”.

Ministers welcomed Barnier’s commitment to the linkage between all the parts of these complex negotiations, and specifically the link between the overall economic partnership and the conclusion of a fishing agreement.

All ministers expressed full confidence in Barnier and his team to defend the essential objectives and principles set down in the mandate.

Minister Creed said: “I very much welcome this detailed briefing from Mr Barnier on the current state of play in the fisheries negotiations. The fourth round of negotiations commence next week and it was very useful to hear directly from Mr Barnier about the issues arising and the challenges involved.

“I reiterated Ireland’s full commitment to the EU negotiating mandate and delivering an outcome that upholds our existing access and quota shares. That position was also supported by other ministers.

“The work done to date by Mr Barnier and his team gives confidence that Irish and EU fishing interests will be robustly defended in the negotiations.”

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

Politicians from the Unionist tradition, The Irish Times writes, have responded with annoyance and dismay after a junior Sinn Féin Minister told a Stormont committee that there will be new physical border posts at Northern Ireland ports.

An “Irish Sea border is now a certainty”, the Ulster Unionist Party leader Steve Aiken said on Thursday following comments by Sinn Féin Minister Declan Kearney that border posts are to be created to deal with trade coming into Northern Ireland from Britain.

Mr Kearney told the Assembly’s Executive Office scrutiny committee that the “British government has confirmed it will urgently put in place detailed plans with the Executive, which does include the physical posts at ports of entry”.

(The Minister) Mr Kearney informed former Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson that the British government had signalled that “delivery on that infrastructure needs to start as soon as possible”.

“The British government has indicated that it will provide advice on the requirements and the funding to put that in place.”

Ms Anderson, in her questioning of Mr Kearney on Wednesday, indicated the posts would be at Belfast, Larne and Warrenpoint and would be designed to accommodate additional customs officers and vets, who would be dealing with livestock.

More on this Brexit development here. 

Published in Ferry

On the Irish Sea the biggest ferry operator in this market area has confirmed that there will be checks, inspections and some new infrastructure for trade, and it wants to know what the UK government will pay for.

The plans, according to BBC News, will affect both trade with the Republic of Ireland and within the UK between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as a result of Brexit.

Stena Line said that its working assumption was that new checks would be carried out in British ports.

Stena boss Ian Hampton told the BBC that though a managed exit was "positive" and the extent of new procedures could be lessened with a strong deal, "there's a border, and the border requires checks".

The border will be down the Irish sea, he said. And while his company won't be doing them, it will have to provide room for officials to do the checks, he said.

As well as operating a fleet of ferries connecting Great Britain to the island of Ireland, Stena also owns three ports on the route, and wants to know the physical changes required on what has, until now, been seamless trade.

The industry's assumption is that the checks will be done in Great Britain on exit rather than in Ireland or Northern Ireland.

For much more on trading relationships including those on the North Channel routes click here

Published in Ferry
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About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Organiser
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Messeplatz
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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