Displaying items by tag: Brexit
Minister Charlie McConalogue was speaking after his meeting yesterday (Tuesday 22 September) with EU Fisheries Commissioner Virginius Sinkevičius to discuss the state of play regarding fisheries in overall Brexit negotiations.
The minister said he made it very clear that Ireland’s fishing industry is in a particularly precarious position, as Ireland shares its main fish stocks and its waters on three sides with the United Kingdom.
He also emphasised that any outcome in future negotiations that results in a loss of quota share for the European Union would cause permanent damage to Ireland’s fishing industry.
“The negotiating team must follow the EU mandate and defend existing quota shares and access arrangements, by linking the overall economic partnership and the conclusion of a fishing agreement to the fullest extent,” Minister McConalogue said.
He expressed confidence that Brussels would continue to defend Irish and EU fishing interests, and relayed the message from the Irish fishing industry that unity and co-operation are vital among European institutions and member states.
Minister McConalogue added: “I was very glad to meet Commissioner Sinkevičius [yesterday] and outline the negative social and economic impacts for fishing and coastal communities in Ireland, if a fair and balanced Fisheries Agreement is not reached with the UK.
“I welcome the opportunity to continue this close engagement with Commissioner Sinkevičius going forward.”
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Michael Gove, UK minister responsible for no-deal planning, has written to logistics groups with the government's "reasonable worst-case scenario" planning, which warns of possible two-day delays for cargo travelling to France in January.
The Cabinet Office document states that, in its reasonable worst-case scenario, between 30-50% of trucks crossing the English Channel will not be ready for the new regulations coming into force on 1 January 2021.
A "lack of capacity to hold unready trucks at French ports" could also reduce the flow of traffic across the strait to 60-80% of normal levels.
"This could lead to maximum queues of 7,000 port bound trucks in Kent and associated maximum delays of up to two days," the documents said.
Such delays could be in place for at least three months, hauliers have been warned, as alternative routes are sought and supply chains get to grips with the new systems and requirements.
RTE News has more on this trade-congestion scenario.
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.
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.”
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.
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:
- Getting ready for changes: Communication on readiness at the end of the transition period between the European Union and the United Kingdom, published on 9 July 2020
- Notice to stakeholders in the field of maritime transport, published on 4 June 2020 (replacing the Commission notices dated 27 February 2018 (maritime transport) and 11 October 2019 (seafarer qualifications, Rev 1)
- Notice to stakeholders on EU rules in the field of ship recycling, published on 8 June 2020 (replacing the Commission notice dated 28 March 2018)
- Notice to stakeholders in the field of industrial products, published on 13 March 2020 (replacing the Commission notice dated 22 January 2018 and the Q&A document dated 1 February 2019) — The products covered by this notice include recreational craft and personal watercraft and marine equipment as listed in the annex
- Notice to stakeholders in the field of recreational craft and personal watercraft, published on 25 June 2020 (replacing the Commission notice dated 5 April 2019)
- Notice to stakeholders in the field of aviation security and maritime security, published on 28 April 2020 (replacing the Commission notice dated 23 October 2018)
- Notice to stakeholders on EU rules on the monitoring and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport, published on 16 July 2020 (replacing the Commission notice dated 19 December 2018)
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.
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.
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.