Failure to implement new fishing laws may cost €40m

Michael Creed.

The Government has warned that opposition to a new fishing points system and the failure to implement new EU laws could cost Ireland almost €40m.

As part of a Dáil private member’s motion, Fianna Fáil will this week push for Ireland to tweak EU rules on fishing quotas and for the points system to be avoided.

The Cabinet will hear today that this could cost as much as €40m when lost grants and potential fines are accounted for in the fishing industry.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said in recent days that EU infringement proceedings against Ireland for non-implementation of the regulations “could cost taxpayers €40m plus”.

On March 20, Mr Creed signed into law the EU fisheries regulation, which establishes a points system that will apply to a sea-fishing boat when a serious infringement of Common Fisheries Policy rules is detected within Ireland’s 200-mile fishery zone.

The EU has already warned about Ireland’s failure to date to implement the changes.

It has also led to the suspension of funding under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund operational programme.

The European Commission has suspended contributions including €2.6m in 2017 and a further €4m this year. This figure will accrue to €37m, the Government has said.

There is significant potential of further fines arising from the commission’s infringement proceedings, it believes.

The Fianna Fáil motion proposes to scrap the points system.

If this is passed in the Dáil, the Cabinet will be told today that it will lead to infringement proceedings being lodged against Ireland.

The motion is being led by Fianna Fáil TD Pat the Cope Gallagher.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Shane Ross will today also table proposals to Cabinet to bring train drivers into line with bus and tax drivers in relation to drink-driving legislation.

Train drivers will be over the limit if there is 20mg of alcohol in their blood per 100ml of blood.

Mr Ross said: “[Today] I will bring forward for discussion with my Cabinet colleagues important new provisions to further enhance railway safety and ensure consistency in standards applied for train drivers and professionals like bus, taxi, or HGV drivers on the road.”

The Cabinet is also expected to consider the latest developments in the abortion referendum campaign, ahead of the public heading to the polls on Friday.


Lifestyle

Carol O’Callaghan gets top expert tips on how to lay and decorate a glorious Christmas dinner table, creating a festive but stylish look to wow your visitors.Your go-to guide to laying the perfect Christmas table

Sometimes I think we impose Christmas on our kids. A couple of weeks back, my wife and I were all about The Late Late Toy Show and going to see Jack and The Beanstalk in the Everyman Theatre.Learner Dad: I think we impose Christmas on our kids

Darina Allen says it is time to make a shopping list for your Christmas meals to remove any stress and enjoy the break with your loved ones.Darina Allen: A feast of food and lots of fun

For our food special, our Currabinny duo, James Kavanagh and William Murray, dish up their top festive side plates.The Currabinny Cooks: Festive side plates to dish up this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner