Securing an overall future relationship agreement, including the best possible outcome on fisheries, is a priority for Ireland. We are seeking to protect the interests of the Irish fleet in relation to access conditions, quota shares and the traditional activity of the EU fleet, while insisting that fisheries issues are dealt with as part of an overall trade deal. I and my Government colleagues have repeatedly raised fisheries as a priority for Ireland in all bilateral political contacts and in particular in their meetings with Michel Barnier.
The Common Fisheries Policy provides the framework for the long-term conservation and sustainability of fish stocks and is designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of fishing in Irish and throughout EU waters. The CFP is reviewed every 10 years and the next review is scheduled to be completed by 31 December 2022 when the European Commission will report to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning of the CFP.
The Commission has advised that it intends to commence the review process when there is clarity on the future relationship of the EU and the UK. The review is expected to be detailed and comprehensive. At EU level, it is expected that all stakeholders will have an opportunity to engage actively in the review work including the fishing industry, eNGOs and Member States.
I will consider how Ireland will prepare for and participate actively and effectively in the review, including the interaction with stakeholders to prepare Ireland's case and identify priorities.