Representatives from the Irish fishing industry have met with senior members of Government to discuss the implications of Brexit. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, brought the representatives to meet with An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, and Tánaiste & Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (with special responsibility for Brexit), Simon Coveney.
The purpose of the meeting was to exchange views on the potential impacts of Brexit for the Irish seafood sector and the progress that has been achieved to date in ensuring that fisheries remains a high priority for the EU27 in the negotiations with the UK. The representatives of the Irish fishing industry present were Sean O’Donoghue and Michael Cavanagh of the KFO, Patrick Murphy and John D. O’Sullivan of the IS&WFPO, Hugo Boyle and John Lynch of the ISEFPO and Lorcán Ó Cinnéide and Karl McHugh of the IFPEA and Alex Crowley of the NIFF.
Commenting on the meeting, Minister Creed said: “The discussions today provided an opportunity for the fishing industry to highlight the very real concerns they have regarding the potential effects of Brexit. The Taoiseach, Minister Coveney and I were able to assure them that fisheries are, and will remain, a high priority for this Government throughout the Brexit negotiations.”
An Taoiseach expressed the Governments appreciation for the work of the fishing industry at European level through the European Fisheries Alliance and their close cooperation with both Minister Creed and the Tánaiste.
An Taoiseach stated that: “Minister Creed and the Tánaiste have worked continuously and successfully to ensure that Michel Barnier and his team have a clear understanding of the issues relating to fisheries and the importance of the EU 27 protecting the existing arrangements on quota share and access to waters. The role of the fishing industry representatives in Ireland and at EU level has been a critical factor in the success to date of having a united and strong EU position on fisheries and for that I would like to express my appreciation.”