Friday, 29 January 2021

Fishing quotas 2021: "Negotiations will start next week with the United Kingdom"

Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, discusses the negotiations around fishing with Jersey, but also the United Kingdom for the 2021 quotas.

“For the 6-12 mile zone, I hope we will receive the licenses this week or next week at the latest. It's a priority, ”says Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for

Tuesday, following your meeting with Ian Gorst, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Jersey, you announced “good news” for Breton and Norman fishermen who were deprived of access to the waters of the island. Why did you have to intervene and what was agreed? Following the post-Brexit agreement with the United Kingdom found at Christmas, there was very little time left to ensure business continuity on January 1 in some sectors. For fishing, it was necessary to ensure that fishermen on both sides were given temporary licenses, as well as the necessary information on how to obtain permanent licenses. In Guernsey and beyond the twelve miles, it went really fast. Unfortunately with Jersey there was a deadlock. I think there has been miscommunication on two sides. Jersey wanted to limit access to 58 boats. Following my conversation with Ian Gorst on Monday, there is a full list of 347 boats that are to be provisionally licensed .

Will we have to negotiate a new Granville Bay treaty on access to Jersey waters? No. This will be managed as part of the TCA (UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement), which includes UK Crown dependencies.

Will these questions be settled in the future directly with London? The relationship between the Crown Dependencies and London is their business. We are ready to negotiate in accordance with protocol and rules. I also had a very good conversation with the Minister of Justice on access to water and the post-Brexit agreement in general, recalling that each of us would do our utmost to ensure that the agreement is fully implemented on both sides. and other. Following this, I returned to the Jersey authorities.

For Jersey, the fishermen and the authorities (French, Editor's note) have until the end of April to submit their data (on their past access to Jersey waters, Editor's note) first to the European authorities and, after verification, to the British authorities. For Guernsey, the deadline is the end of March. Anyone who has been able to provide proof of their presence in the waters in recent years will have access. And the UK also published a list last week of 1,300 European vessels authorized to fish beyond twelve miles.

What about the 6-12 mile zone, close to the British coast? All data received from Member States (France, Belgium, and others) has already been transmitted to the UK. We are currently talking about 119 ships. I hope we will receive the licenses this week or next week at the latest. It is a priority.

The Channel Islands, as an offshore financial centre, enjoy some access to the European financial market. The City of London, on the other hand, has lost all access following Brexit and is seeking to restore one. Is there any interference between fisheries and financial services in your discussions with London? The answer is twofold. On the one hand, while I was talking to ministers in the UK or Jersey, we did not discuss any sectoral subject other than fisheries. On the other hand, we stuck to our line during all the negotiations, of not dealing with one country or one sector. Now that we are under the Christmas deal, we must do our utmost in all sectors to ensure that it is fully implemented and does not cause major disruption in any sector.

Where are we in the negotiations on the authorized catches for 2021 of the hundred or so stocks shared between the United Kingdom and the European Union? We presented our strategy for negotiating with the British to ministers of the Twenty-Seven last week and received the green light from their ambassadors yesterday (Wednesday). Negotiations will start next week. Member States will be constantly briefed and will have to vote at the end.

The deadline for the 2021 fishing possibilities is the end of March ... Yes, but I want to finish as quickly as possible.

Full story courtesy of Le Telegramme.