Cork TD criticises 'shocking' Brexit deal as value of fishing rights loss revised

When the Brexit trade deal was announced on Christmas Eve, Mr McConalogue said the fishing rights going to UK fishermen would cost €35m per year. 
Cork TD criticises 'shocking' Brexit deal as value of fishing rights loss revised

When the Brexit trade deal was announced on Christmas Eve, Mr McConalogue said the fishing rights going to UK fishermen would cost €35m per year. Picture: David Creedon / Anzenberger

A new study of the fishing rights subject to Britain's trade deal with the European Union (EU) published by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has contradicted the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue. 

When the Brexit trade deal was announced on Christmas Eve, Mr McConalogue said the fishing rights going to UK fishermen would cost €35m per year. 

However, an analysis released by his department earlier this week indicates a total loss of at least €43m per year. 

Fisheries took on exceptional political importance during the Brexit trade talks. File picture.

Fisheries took on exceptional political importance during the Brexit trade talks. File picture.

This represents a 15% loss in value of all fish caught by Irish fishing vessels. In comparison, France, another EU member state with significant interests in the Brexit trade provisions for fisheries only lost 8%.

Independent TD Michael Collins has said this agreement is not fair and described the Brexit trade deal as a "shocking deal" for Irish fishermen. 

"[French] President Macron has come out and was one of the first to praise the deal of course for his own fishermen but sadly it was a shocking deal for Irish fishermen. 

"And I was always adamant that the Irish should have been involved because it was Irish fish in Irish water, we were always going to be the bargaining chip here. 

"And unfortunately we stepped out and stepped aside and left others to negotiate Irish fish in Irish waters and it has come at a massive price to the Irish people," said Mr Collins. 

Trade disruption

Meanwhile, Irish freight transporters are seeking a six-month “adjustment period” on post-Brexit trade rules to help counteract the "huge disruption" facing hauliers as Brexit stockpiles dry up.

In a letter to Taoiseach Micheál Martin, the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) warned that Ireland’s “vulnerability” can not be overstated in this new trading landscape, with rising unemployment, disappearing supply chains, and increased prices for consumers likely if the current situation continues as is.

The FTAI has also warned that the difficulties currently being experienced are against a backdrop of huge stockpiling pre-Brexit and the “real challenge” is yet to come.

This is despite new shipping routes coming quickly into operations due to rising demands. Yesterday, Brittany Ferries confirmed that a new crossing between France and Ireland will begin two months early due to Brexit.

The sailing connecting Cherbourg and Rosslare will commence Monday, January 18.

Brittany Ferries said that it has “moved quickly to support the freight sector and to meet the needs of an industry battling Brexit”.

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