Brexit: Fisherman says food is being ‘rejected’ due to export delay
Despite the UK and EU finally agreeing on a Brexit deal last month, the majority of Ireland’s fishing fleet has not been given full permits in order to enter Britain’s waters. Just over seven percent of their ships have been given temporary permits, with some fishermen labelling the situation as chaotic. The Irish government has also been criticised for failing to have a plan B to aid fishermen in the country post-Brexit.
Under the agreement, EU fishing fleets are given access to the UK’s waters with the condition that over a five-year period they return 25 percent of their catch.
However, after being given late notification by the EU Commission, a large number of Irish vessels have not been able to enter the waters due to the lack of permits.
Patrick Murphy, chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation, stated preparations should have been made months ago.
Referring to an incident earlier this month where an Irish boat was boarded by UK officials and told to leave UK waters nears Rockall, he told Afloat: “Rockall is not the only issue – the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine had no plan B.”
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The Irish government has claimed it is now working urgently through the Commission to resolve the issue.
Mr Murphy has previously hit out at the implications for Irish fishermen due to the agreement.
He told Express.co.uk he had examined the agreement and was fearful for the industry’s future.
He said: “Can we as an industry trust Brussels to have Ireland’s best interests at heart? I think not.
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“For example, on the issue of access to waters, the French fleet continues to have the right to fish within the 12-mile limit of the inhabited Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark but the Irish fleet is excluded from the waters surrounding the uninhabited Rock of Rockall that is closer to the Irish mainland than it is to the Scottish mainland.
“Species such as herring in the Irish Sea were all but gifted to the UK while herring in the English Channel were kept by our EU ‘partners’.”
In order to address certain issues over trade, the EU has also created a Brexit fund to hand money to member states.
Under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve Fund, Ireland will be handed €1.051 billion (£891million) from the fund.
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France, Belgium, Germany and Denmark will also be handed money due to the loss of trade with the UK.
Due to its proximity and interconnectedness with Great Britain, Ireland is set to be hit hardest by Brexit.
Fishermen in Ireland will lose 15 percent of their fishing quota due to Brexit.
The agreement has come under scrutiny from some sectors, namely Scottish fishermen who have been hit by additional red tape.
Due to the additional paperwork needed to export to the EU, fishermen north of the border have been hit by severe delays.
Fishermen have demanded the two sides rework certain elements of the agreement due to the delays in exports.
Logistics providers, DFDS Scotland, has also stated it would halt exports to the EU due to additional paperwork demands.
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