Thursday, 22 November 2018

Questions (179)

Charlie McConalogue


179. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on references to arrangements relating to fishing opportunities under article 130 of the European Commission's draft withdrawal agreement with the United Kingdom and article 6 of the protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland (details supplied). [48835/18]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Overall, Ireland’s and the EU27’s basic position is to protect our fishing communities. While all parties would like higher quota shares, the way to achieve that is to grow the fish stocks through sustainable management for the benefit of all. Managing fisheries sustainably and fairly must be an integral and inseparable part of the overall future EU/UK relationship. 

 If this withdrawal deal goes through, from a fisheries perspective, we have clarity that there will be no changes to the status quo on fisheries for the duration of the transition period.  The transition period will last at least until the end of December 2020 but could be extended. Within this timeframe and within the context of the overall economic partnership, the EU and UK will work to establish a new fisheries agreement to be in place after transition.

As is set down in the draft Political Declaration, negotiations on fisheries will take place in the context of the overall future economic relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom.  In other words, fisheries will not be dealt with in isolation. 

 I will continue to work closely with the Tánaiste, the Commission, relevant Member States and the fishing industry to ensure the best outcome for Irelands’ fishing communities.