Monday, 27 June 2016

French Brexit concerns

The vote by the UK to leave the European Union has raised concerns in France, and fishermen’s federation CNPMEM has watched the situation on the other side of the Channel carefully.

Speaking at its meeting last week, CNPMEM president Gérard Romiti told Secretary of State for Transport, the Sea and Fisheries Alain Vidalies that the choice the UK has made could have serious consequences, commenting that it has to be remembered that the crisis the French fishing sector suffered in the 1990s began with a devaluation of the pound. 

According to a CNPMEM statement, in spite of Alain Vidalies’ assurances, French fishermen are concerned that the UK could adopt a less amicable stance, and Gérard Romiti has called on the French authorities to make early contact with their British counterparts to ensure that French landings in UK ports and French access to shared fishing grounds remain unaffected. The regions of Normandy and Brittany depend on access to UK waters for around 50% of their fishing activities, and there is concern that a renationalisation of waters could take place, without consultation with other states. 

The meeting agreed with the Secretary of State that access to the European market is linked to quota distribution, and French fishermen’s leaders expressed a strong interest in being involved with future developments leading to a UK withdrawal form the EU.

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