Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle calls for robust negotiations with EU and UK on fishing rights

supertrawler

Press Release – July 3rd, 2017

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Speaking after the UK announced its withdrawal from the London Fisheries Convention as part of its Brexit strategy, Deputy Pringle has called on the Irish Government to begin negotiations and ensure Ireland gets a better deal for fishing rights.

The convention allows vessels from the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands to fish within six and 12 nautical miles of each other’s coastlines.

Deputy Pringle says “Ireland needs to be active on a few fronts at this stage with the threat that Brexit brings to our fisheries access”.

“We need to ensure that access to fishing grounds is negotiated as part of Brexit trade talks but we also need to prepare internally within the EU to renegotiate ‘relative stability’ within the Common Fisheries Policy as a matter of urgency should the UK insist on excluding EU vessels from its waters.

“We have an opportunity here, but only if the Irish Government negotiates effectively. Right now, if Ireland seeks to increase its fishing quota, France and others must get a multiple of that increase. It’s called relative stability and it’s what has hampered Ireland’s effort to date for a greater share of fishing quotas within the EU.

“Now with the UK’s inevitable departure Ireland, alongside other EU partners can renegotiate the terms and conditions of the existing treaty. This could only ever be done when an original signatory of the treaty leaves it altogether, in this case UK.

“The Government must now state the case to undo the unfairness of relative stability as featured in the treaty when it was signed. We need to start negotiations now as countries will begin intensifying fishing in Irish waters to compensate for the lack of access to UK waters after Brexit.

“It’s a crucial time and the Government needs to move quickly. Brexit will be completed by 2019 however the renewed EU Commons Fisheries policy isn’t expected to be implemented until 2022 so there’ll be 3 years with no contingency plan in place. Meanwhile, all EU fishing vessels will be excluded from fishing in UK waters with intensified fishing in our waters.

“There are positives and negatives and a strong stance on our behalf could ensure that more positives unfold throughout the Brexit process. We need to negotiate on all sides, within the EU and as part of the EU putting pressure on UK” concludes Pringle.

 

ENDS

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