Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (362)

Michael Collins

Question:

362. Deputy Michael Collins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the person or body that signed off on the final draft for the fisheries element of the Brexit trade agreement; if the draft proposals prior to sign-off contained a table of the cuts in respect of the species for all the respective coastal member states; and if he considered at that point lodging an official objection to the proposals on behalf of Ireland in view of the sheer magnitude of the losses to the Irish sector. [6502/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Negotiations on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) concluded on 24 December 2020. On 29 December, the Council of the European Union, acting by the unanimity of all 27 Member States, adopted a decision by written procedure authorising the signature of the Agreement, and its provisional application as of 1 January 2021.

Annex FISH.1 to the TCA lists the shares of the Total Allowable Catch (TACs) of the fish stocks allocated between the EU and the UK.

Minister McConalogue published a Preliminary Analysis of Transfers of Quota Shares on the gov.ie website on 13 January, which details quota transfers for Ireland across the different stocks. This compares the quota shares allocated to Ireland in 2020 and the corresponding new quota shares for 2021-2026.

We are keenly aware of the impact of the TCA and the impact of this burden on our fisheries sector. The outcome on fisheries was a difficult compromise and the Government will work to ensure that the fisheries sector, and the coastal communities that depend on it, are supported through the period ahead. I will continue working with Minister McConalogue and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in engaging with the Commission to explore options and seek constructive solutions.