EUFA and Barnier in crisis Brexit talks
Amid continued uncertainty around the UK’s exit from the EU, the European Fisheries Alliance (EUFA) and EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, have met to discuss all possible Brexit scenarios.
EUFA and Mr Barnier reiterated that only a strong link between fisheries and the wider trade relationship can do justice to the complex reality of the fishing sector. EUFA warns that the consequences of disruption in access to fishing grounds that will likely follow a ‘no deal’ Brexit will be grave.
EUFA chairman, Gerard van Balsfoort, said that EUFA was grateful to Mr Barnier for his efforts to reach a balanced agreement. ”Legal uncertainty at sea will have grave consequences for the sustainability of fish stocks shared between the EU and UK and the economic future of all fleets fishing in the area,” he said.
“Weathering this storm will require a firm and united response by the industry, the European Commission and the member states. European unity will be paramount to achieve this.”
He added, “Fishermen must not be left empty handed or fall foul of short-term political goals. The current joint fisheries management framework is working and has greatly improved sustainability of the shared fish stocks. We are convinced that we can continue to share fish, fishing grounds and markets after Brexit, to the benefit of all.”
Mr Barnier outlined the ongoing efforts the EC is making, whilst highlighting that any short-term effect of a disorderly withdrawal would set the tone for talks on the future EU-UK relationship.
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