The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today reiterated Ireland’s concerns and priorities for the EU/UK consultations on fishing opportunities for 2021. The EU Commission is for the first time undertaking negotiations with the UK which, by the end of March ,should determine the full year fishing quotas for all stocks shared with the EU.
Speaking at today’s informal meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers, Minister McConalogue thanked the European Commission for its work on the consultations to date and for providing a good level of coordination with the Council.
The Minister said: “I made clear from the outset the need for Ministers at Council to have direct engagement in the negotiations and I welcome this opportunity for an exchange of views on the EU’s position in the consultations with the UK.”
In outlining Ireland’s priorities for the consultations, the Minister highlighted the importance of ensuring a level playing field: “In addition to agreeing Total Allowable Catches (TACs) with the UK, it is also important to reach agreement on associated issues such as special conditions, flexibilities, remedial measures and taking account of the application of the landing obligation in setting TAC’s .”
Minister McConalogue also raised the issue of the disproportionate burden on Ireland in terms of our contribution to the quota transfers to the UK under the EU/UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement.
“This is an important issue that cannot be ignored, and I will continue to seek to make use of every possibility to address this unfair outcome of the negotiations on the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.”