Key Brexit priorities for fisheries will be access to the UK zone in Irish Sea, Celtic Sea and North of Donegal – Minister

‘Continued objective is to ensure that the implications for fisheries are fully taken account of throughout the negotiations.’

Sligo News File.

Questioned by Sligo TD, Tony McLoughlin about the efforts being made to safeguard the Irish fishing industry in the context of Brexit, Minister for Agriculture and the Marine Michael Creed said the key priorities for Ireland will be “the maintenance of current access to fishing grounds in the UK zone in the Irish Sea, the Celtic Sea and north of Donegal.” The protection of Ireland’s existing quota shares will also be a priority.

Tony McLoughlin, TD

Creed said his continued objective is to ensure that the implications for fisheries are fully taken account of throughout the negotiations for a future EU-UK relationship.

“In recent months, I have continued to have positive, regular meetings with my European colleagues, especially those from the group of 8 Member States whose fisheries are most impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. I am also working closely with key
stakeholders in the Irish fishing industry and am pleased at the level of unity on these key issues. The results of my engagement with the
Barnier Task Force, in close collaboration with the Tánaiste, are evident in the agreed EU position on fisheries.”

He added that the actual agreement on a future relationship could only be finalised and concluded “once the UK has become a third country, that is after it leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. This is why a status quo transitional arrangement is so important. Of course, it is in the interest of everyone that a future relationship agreement is concluded as quickly as possible after the UK leaves the EU to provide certainty sooner rather than later.

“I would like to assure the Deputy that, working together with the
Tánaiste and his team and the Barnier Task Force, I will continue to
work to ensure that negotiations on fisheries remain inextricably linked to the overall future relationship negotiations in order to protect our existing access rights and quota entitlements.”