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Fishing Industry

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 4 April 2017

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Questions (595)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

595. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if discussions have taken place and, if so, the details of same, with signatories to the 1964 London Fisheries Convention regarding the withdrawal of the UK from the convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16327/17]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In recent days, there have been a number of articles in the UK media suggesting that there will be an announcement of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention.  The reports suggest that this is part of the UK’s intended Brexit strategy on fisheries to provide a ‘clean slate’, which also includes withdrawal from the Common Fisheries Policy.  However, a formal UK Government position has not yet been announced.

The withdrawal process set down in the Convention provides that contracting parties give two years notice of intention to withdraw.  

The Governments of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are the signatories of the London Convention, 1964.

In recent times, I have held a series of bilateral meetings with EU Member States including Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain.  I am in the process of organising further meetings with Portugal, Belgium and Sweden and hope to meet with the French Minister once the elections are finished.  These meetings have enabled me to initiate discussions with the eight Member States whose fisheries are most impacted by Brexit in order to work together on a common platform on an agreed way forward.  The EU fishing industry, including the Irish industry, is taking a similar approach, and our combined efforts will strengthen our delivery of the EU fishing priorities in the Brexit negotiations.

The aim of this work is to ensure that fisheries remains a priority in the negotiations to come. Protecting existing shares and existing access arrangements will be the top priority.  As both I and An Taoiseach have stated before, we intend to ensure that fisheries remains high on the Brexit agenda in the EU and that Ireland obtains the best possible outcome from the negotiations.

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