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UK fishing industry angry with Brexit transition agreement

Staff Writer |
The UK fishing industry has been misled about Brexit independence and quota setting plans are unclear, The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) said.

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Following the UK's agreement to a Brexit transition period from 29 March 2019 to 31 December 2020 means that the current reciprocal access remains in place, with NFFO stating that the timetable of the UK becoming an independent coastal state from March 2019 has been “conceded as part of the transition.”

In response to the deal, which will see the UK be "consulted" on quotas and access to its waters until 2021, NFFO said: “The UK is to be “consulted” by the EU on setting quotas during the transition period but it is not clear what this would mean: Notional “cosmetic” consultation or Meaningful participation amounting to agreement (like EU/Norway annual agreement which are styled as consultations).”

It said that the unbalanced fishing arrangement in place through the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) would continue during the transition and a plan for the UK to renegotiate quota shares and control access over who fishes in UK waters, and under what conditions is now on hold.

Making concessions as part of transitional arrangements is risky because similar pressures will apply when it comes to negotiations, NFFO said.

“In the immediate future, sticking to the existing quota shares (relative stability) during the transition period will cause serious difficulties when the EU landing obligation when it comes fully into force on 1st January 2019.”

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