•   
  •   

US News Brexit: why fishing threatens to derail EU-UK trade talks

11:25  28 january  2020
11:25  28 january  2020 Source:   ft.com

What the papers say – January 21

  What the papers say – January 21 Moves to deny terrorists early release from prison and EU trade talks are among the stories making today’s front pages.The Daily Telegraph and Metro report the UK’s most dangerous terrorists will be forced to serve their entire jail term without any prospect of early release as part of a crackdown.

For EU fishermen, this is the stuff of nightmares. Ensuring that fishing rights do not die with Brexit is a priority for the bloc’s coastal states, not least France, in future relationship negotiations with Britain that will begin in the weeks after the UK leaves the EU on Friday. EU diplomats fear that a post- Brexit

What is Brexit ? Brexit - British exit - refers to the UK leaving the EU . If the UK leaves, it would be the first member state to withdraw from the EU . Why is the UK leaving? If a trade deal is ready in time, the UK 's new relationship with the EU can begin immediately after the transition.

Boris Johnson visits Peterhead fish market © Reuters Boris Johnson visits Peterhead fish market Bruno Margollé and his ancestors have fished for sole and cod in the English Channel since the 18th century, and like other EU fishermen who work in Britain’s waters today, he regards Brexit with trepidation.

Based in Boulogne-sur-Mer near the narrowest point of the Channel with his 24m fishing boat, Mr Margollé says any reduction in access beyond the median line separating the two countries’ territorial waters — a genuine risk if Britain and the EU cannot rapidly come to an agreement — would be a disaster for him and his three sons who share the business.

UK's Africa summit offers lofty promises, less substance

  UK's Africa summit offers lofty promises, less substance The attention Africa is now receiving from the UK government is as much about Brexit as anything else . With the UK on the verge of leaving the European Union (EU) on terms yet to be agreed, it needs to shore up its trading relations with other parts of the world. The likes of Johnson, Sharma and Africa minister Andrew Stephenson often cite two facts in particular: the continent has eight of the 15 fastest growing economies in the world and, by 2050, will be home to a quarter of the world’s consumers. That spells opportunity and a way of mitigating the damage Brexit could do.

Assuming the European Parliament also gives the green light, the UK will formally leave the EU on 31 January The first priority will be to negotiate a trade deal with the EU . The UK wants as much access as That means formal talks might only begin in March. The government has ruled out any form of

After Brexit happens on 31 January, the UK will be free to negotiate and sign new trade deals with countries with no existing EU deals - like the US. At the same time, the UK will also be negotiating a free trade deal with the EU to ensure that UK goods are not subject to tariffs and other trade barriers

“It’s death,” he says. “I have no Plan B. I have €1m of debt. What am I supposed to do? Put a bullet in my head?”

If Brexit Britain were to close its own waters to foreign vessels, the impact would be immediate and severe on fishing communities such as those in Boulogne, adding to the pressures from  climate change and warmer seas that fishermen say have driven away the cod and brought in more squid and spider crabs.

  Brexit: why fishing threatens to derail EU-UK trade talks © Getty No one disputes that the fishing grounds are richer on the British side. French, Belgian and Dutch trawlers are usually out in force right up to the line six nautical miles from the English coast that is already reserved for British-flagged vessels. The majority of the EU catch is made in the North East Atlantic, and British waters are a crucial part.

Brexit deal becomes UK law, paving way for EU departure next week

  Brexit deal becomes UK law, paving way for EU departure next week Boris Johnson's Brexit deal has officially become UK law, paving the way for the country to leave the EU next week. The prime minister's Withdrawal Agreement Act was signed off by the Queen on Thursday after completing its journey through parliament.Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans announced the news to MPs on Thursday afternoon.It marks the UK clearing one of the final key hurdles on its path to leaving the EU on 31 January. © Getty Boris Johnson's election win handed him a large Tory majority Brussels still needs to take a few more steps for it to formalise the agreement in international law.

The EU is adamant European trawlers must be given the right to fish in the waters but the British fishing industry believes access should be restricted. It came as Downing Street confirmed trade negotiations with the EU will be led by the PM's Brexit sherpa David Frost and his Task Force

Asked if the proposed UK - EU trade deal would end up being limited or piecemeal, Varadkar, who is of course in the middle of a general election campaign Because what happens in these things is trade offs. For example, the United Kingdom has a very strong position on fisheries . The UK has a lot of

Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, fanned the flames last week by insisting that the  UK will “take back control” and have full jurisdiction over the UK’s “spectacular maritime wealth”.

For EU fishermen, this is the stuff of nightmares. Ensuring that fishing rights do not die with Brexit is a  priority for the bloc’s coastal states, not least France, in future relationship negotiations with Britain that will begin in the weeks after the UK leaves the EU on Friday.

EU diplomats fear that a  post-Brexit negotiation covering everything from trade in goods to financial services — which accounted for 6.9 per cent of UK gross domestic product in 2018 — could become snarled up on fish. It is a sector that employs fewer than 180,000 people throughout the bloc but is the economic lifeblood of coastal communities, giving the industry added political leverage.

_______________________________________

What the papers say – January 28

  What the papers say – January 28 The latest on the Duke of York and Jeffrey Epstein leads Tuesday’s papers.US prosecutors have claimed the Duke of York has ignored calls from the FBI to discuss his links to the now-deceased Epstein, according to the Daily Mirror, The Sun and the i.

Dublin, rattled by prospect of damaging its €65bn annual trade with its biggest market, could derail The UK wants to lean on these ties in its talks with Europe, prompting concern in Brussels that Irish premier Leo Varadkar has threatened to veto the timetable for an EU - UK Brexit deal and hold out for

The EU is a political and economic union of 28 countries that trade with each other and allow citizens to move easily between the countries to live and work It also includes a transition period, which has been agreed to allow the UK and EU to agree a trade deal and to give businesses the time to adjust.

The price of fish and finance

  Brexit: why fishing threatens to derail EU-UK trade talks © Getty 0.04%

Fishing and aquaculture’s gross value added contribution to UK economic output (2018, provisional figure)

7.1%

Financial services and insurance’s gross value added contribution to UK economic output (2018, provisional figure)

_______________________________________

Barnier rejects claims that change in Irish government is ‘concern’ to Brexit

  Barnier rejects claims that change in Irish government is ‘concern’ to Brexit The latest poll shows that Fianna Fail remains in the lead to be the majority partner in the next government. The Red C poll, paid for by the Business Post newspaper, shows Micheal Martin’s party on 26% (up two), while Fine Gael has gone down seven points to 23% and Sinn Fein up by eight to 19%. © Damien Eagers Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets Michel Barnier at Government Buildings in Dublin (Damien Eagers/PA) The Greens are polling at 8%, up one, Labour are on 4% and Solidarity-People Before Profit on 2%.

Ireland's leader said the EU would have the 'upper hand' in post- Brexit trade talks . He warned the bloc would try to force big concessions on fishing rights for EU trawlers by exploiting Speaking in Dublin about the trade talks , Mr Varadkar told the BBC: ‘I don’t think the UK has yet come to terms

The European Union ’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, and the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, have warned that a united bloc – “team Varadkar said the UK might fail to get a trade deal giving its banks access to the EU ’s financial services market unless it agreed to let EU boats carry on

The EU has explicitly linked the City of London’s future market access to Britain giving ground on fish. Ireland’s prime minister Leo Varadkar told the BBC on Monday that “you may have to make concessions in areas like fishing in order to get concessions from us in areas like financial services. That’s why things tend to be all in the one package”.

  Brexit: why fishing threatens to derail EU-UK trade talks © Getty A  dragged out fight over fish would ultimately be in neither side’s interests. But it may be extremely difficult to avoid: the UK and the EU have opposing positions, little room for manoeuvre and even less time.

Britain and Brussels will have only 11 months after Brexit day to negotiate a new relationship and avoid a hard exit when the country’s transition arrangements expire at the end of 2020.

Garda arrested over alleged sexual assault

  Garda arrested over alleged sexual assault The man is currently being detained at a Midlands garda station. The spokesperson declined to give details of the nature of the offence the man was arrested for.Multiple sources confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the arrest related to an allegation of sexual assault. MORE NEWS: Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness destroys Nigel Farage’s bizarre Brexit celebration (Extra.

European politicians dismiss Boris Johnson's claim that he will "get Brexit done" if he wins the election. In fact, Brussels fears that whether Labour or the Conservatives If prime minister, Mr Johnson will be under pressure to relent, otherwise the EU could threaten to close their market to UK fish stocks.

The UK and EU have agreed an exit deal. What happens next. Both the UK and the EU need to ratify the withdrawal agreement by 31 January 2020. Living and working in an EU country after Brexit depends on the rules in that country. You may need to register or apply for residency.

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has vowed that fishing will be treated “as an essential economic interest for our country that must be defended” in the talks. It is a position that has been adopted by the entire EU, which insists that “existing reciprocal  access to fishing waters and resources” should be maintained.

  Brexit: why fishing threatens to derail EU-UK trade talks © FT

Brussels insists that any move by Britain to reduce access to its fishing waters will be met with an overwhelming response: the loss of much needed market access rights for UK fishermen, and potentially even the breakdown of trade negotiations, creating the risk of a  no-deal Brexit at the end of 2020.

For the EU, “everything in the future relationship negotiations is linked”, says one senior European diplomat. “It’s not just the French, there are seven or eight member states highly interested in this. The UK is going to have to compromise [on access for EU fishing fleets].”

A fisherman stands near the boxes with fish in the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, France © Reuters A fisherman stands near the boxes with fish in the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, France For Britain, Brexit means escaping from the Common Fisheries Policy, a system that UK fishermen argue has cost jobs and livelihoods. Many in the industry argue that their sector was sacrificed to secure Britain’s place in the European Economic Community in 1973.

Watch: Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness destroys Nigel Farage’s bizarre Brexit celebration

  Watch: Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness destroys Nigel Farage’s bizarre Brexit celebration Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness destroyed Nigel Farage in the European Parliament for his bizarre Brexit celebration. They cheered him and each MEP produced a small Union flag, which they waved all around Farage as he spoke. He said: ‘This is it, the final chapter, the end of the road, a 47-year political experiment that the British frankly have never been very happy with.

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier revealed he would present a draft negotiating mandate to the remaining 27 EU member states next Monday. But the spokesman did not rule out EU fishing vessels being granted access to UK waters as part of Brexit trade negotiations.

UK slammed by US over proposed digital tax, while EU says balance of power lies in its favor Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and the EU ’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier gave a joint press Financial services are crucial to London economically, but fishing rights are a politically sensitive

“We will make sure we don’t trade away Britain’s fishing rights as they were traded away . . . in the early 1970s,” Mr Johnson said on January 22.

Britain’s fishing fleet consists of 6,000 vessels and close to 12,000 fishermen. It caught almost £1bn worth of fish in 2018 but makes a negligible contribution to the UK economy. It is, however, of vital importance to some coastal communities, notably in Scotland.

Students cut fish in a lab at a training center for fishing industry jobs in Boulogne-sur-Mer © Getty Students cut fish in a lab at a training center for fishing industry jobs in Boulogne-sur-Mer Under the CFP, EU countries’ fishing fleets have full access to each others’ waters, with the exception of the first 12 nautical miles out from the coast. Some special access arrangements exist for the six-12 mile band.

The EU agrees annual limits, known as the total allowable catch, for the volume of fish that can be caught from each stock. National quotas for these are then divided up using a template based on historical fishing patterns.

But after Britain leaves it will become an independent coastal state, with an “exclusive economic zone” or EEZ, stretching out as far as 200 nautical miles. Where the EEZ bumps up against EU waters, a new median line could be drawn between the UK and EU. Some of the world’s most coveted fishing waters lie within that 200-mile British zone.

  Brexit: why fishing threatens to derail EU-UK trade talks © FT

British waters are rich in staples of the European diet: herring, mackerel and sole as well as shellfish such as langoustine. EU boats annually land more than 700,000 tonnes of fish caught in UK waters, according to Britain’s Marine Management Organisation.

RTÉ locked in pay talks with unions opposed to salary freeze

  RTÉ locked in pay talks with unions opposed to salary freeze RTÉ is locked in talks with union representatives as it tries to thrash out the finer details of a salary restructuring plan in a bid to save €60m over three years. Negotiations have been centred on the issue of salary increments.

to withdraw from the European Union , the process known as Brexit , since Britons voted to do so in a Britain split from the European Union and change its relationship to the bloc on trade , security have announced that they are leaving Britain because of Brexit , or have at least threatened to do so.

A political declaration on future relations, agreed by Mr Johnson and EU leaders last year, set a July deadline to negotiate and ratify an agreement on future fishing rights. Without a deal, EU boats will lose access to UK waters at the end of this year.

But the British government is in the grip of competing pressures from its own fishing sector, parts of which depend on the tariff-free access to the EU market that Brussels is threatening to revoke if a deal is not reached. Brussels insists the two issues are linked.

In Scotland, which accounts for 64 per cent of UK fish landings, hopes of a post-Brexit boost and an end to participation in the CFP are mixed with deep concerns about the potential loss of vital access to EU markets for some of the country’s highest-value catches.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage holds a fish as he visits a fish processing factory in Grimsby Fishing village © Getty Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage holds a fish as he visits a fish processing factory in Grimsby Fishing village

Elspeth Macdonald, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, the main industry body, says market access must not be tied to the negotiations over fishing rights — a link the EU is determined to maintain to pressurise Britain into doing a deal.

“By the end of this year, we should be going into . . . negotiations as an independent coastal state, negotiating access and fishing opportunities on an annual basis,” says Ms Macdonald, who says that any permanent concessions to the EU would be a “betrayal of the industry”.

The SFF is not demanding huge change overnight, but says there must be an immediate cut in the proportion of the UK quota taken by EU vessels and “year-on-year gains” for Scottish fishermen. And while access to EU markets is important, Ms Macdonald says, “the ability to determine access to our waters is the key goal for us”.

  Brexit: why fishing threatens to derail EU-UK trade talks © Getty That stance is bad news for fish exporters like Andrew Charles, who runs the processing business his grandfather established from modest premises near Aberdeen harbour.

Mr Charles is sceptical that fishermen in France or Spain would tolerate continued British imports if they lost access to UK waters. And even if there are no blockades or protests, he says, the expected post-Brexit burden of export and import documents, environmental health certificates and inspections could make it no longer viable to sell high quality monkfish to the continent, a niche business that accounts for a fifth of company sales.

“I would have to close the export business unless I pay 25 per cent less for my raw material,” Mr Charles adds.

Many other exporters share similar fears. The UK runs a trade surplus with the EU27 on fish and some of Britain’s most lucrative species, such as scallops and Norway lobster, are caught almost exclusively for the EU market. About half of all UK fish production — combining what is caught and farmed — is exported to the rest of the EU.

Any retreat from his Brexit promises could be disastrous for Mr Johnson’s Conservative party, not least in Scotland. At the daily auction in Peterhead, the UK’s largest port for white and pelagic fish, Gary Mitchell, a wholesale merchant who makes most of his sales on the continent, says he “absolutely” trusts the prime minister to keep his word to liberate the sector from EU quotas and controls, and believes any disruption will be shortlived.

“The French, the Spanish, the Italians, they all want our fish, they need our fish,” Mr Mitchell says. “In any change in any industry you always get teething problems, but after a while I’m sure it will settle down . . . I’m trying to be as optimistic as I can.”

Expectations of a boon from Brexit are also high in the medieval English town of Rye, just across the Channel from Boulogne-sur-Mer. “On Monday mornings, boats turn up from Belgium and they will be here on the six-mile limit for days,” says Mick Caister, who owns the last wooden trawler in Rye. “If they were pushed further out, it would make a difference to us.”

Britain sees Norway as a model. Oslo holds annual negotiations with the EU on access to waters, management of shared stocks and exchanges of quota rights. In theory, EU access to Norwegian waters would lapse if the annual talks collapsed.

But such an approach would spell endless uncertainty for the EU, and Brussels is determined to lock in rights upfront. A core part of the negotiations will be how to share out fishing rights for the more than 70 types of fish that straddle the UK EEZ and EU waters.

UK officials are adamant that Britain will seek a relatively larger quota compared with its allowance under the CFP. But one EU diplomat says Brussels must demand nothing less than the “material status quo.”

Gerard van Balsfoort, chairman of the European Fisheries Alliance, says the EU industry is seeking “guaranteed access”. And it does not want “annual negotiations with the UK on relative quota shares and reciprocal access for shared stocks,” he adds.

Related: Leave vs Remain: Images of divided Brexit Britain [Photos]

As a result the risks of internal division are extremely high for both sides. EU leaders have agreed to make the bloc’s future economic relationship with Britain dependent on solving an issue — fishing rights — that is only of real relevance to about eight coastal states. Diplomats quietly question how well EU unity will hold up under the strain.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator,  insisted in January  that Britain had more to lose than the EU27 from the collapse of talks about future relations, but one of the immediate consequences of a no-deal scenario would be a loss of EU fishing rights in UK waters.

Expectations will weigh on both sides’ negotiating teams as they fight to secure rights without creating a confrontation that would wreak havoc on a fragile, interconnected industry.

“The market is important for the British,” said Frédéric Cuvillier, mayor of Boulogne and a former fisheries minister, when Brexit fever was at its peak last year and a no-deal exit seemed likely. “It’s all a bit stupid.”

Icelandic, Scottish and English fish are often trucked to Boulogne’s busy fish plants — the industry employs more than 5,000 people — for processing and onward distribution.

The Dover Strait is the point where  France and the UK are closest in almost every sense. The English coast can be seen from the beach at Wissant between Calais and Boulogne, and the locals have a saying about the weather which translates as: “If you can see the cliffs at Dover, it’s going to rain. If you can’t, it’s raining already”.

“We’ve had hundreds of years of sometimes tumultuous relations,” says Mr Cuvillier. “Geography brings us closer and Brexit pushes us apart.”

RTÉ locked in pay talks with unions opposed to salary freeze .
RTÉ is locked in talks with union representatives as it tries to thrash out the finer details of a salary restructuring plan in a bid to save €60m over three years. Negotiations have been centred on the issue of salary increments.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!