Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Questions (62)

Pearse Doherty


62. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will engage with the UK Government to resolve the ongoing dispute over the ownership of Lough Foyle in the context of the decision by the UK to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention, effective upon Brexit. [47904/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The UK Government assertion of jurisdiction over the whole of Lough Foyle has never been accepted by Ireland and this position remains unchanged.

Following discussions in 2011 between the then Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and the British Foreign Secretary, the British and Irish Governments agreed to seek to resolve jurisdictional issues relating to both Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough.

Since that time a series of meetings and contacts have taken place at official level between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and my own Department. This engagement is ongoing and my Department is also continuing to consult with other relevant Departments on specific issues and concerns in relation to licensing of aquaculture in Lough Foyle.  The 1964 London Fisheries Convention is not relevant to the jurisdictional issues in Lough Foyle.

The issues involved in these discussions are complex and involve a range of different actors, including the Crown Estates on the British side, but I am satisfied that all sides are committed to reaching a positive resolution as soon as possible.