fishing is one of The sensitive topics in the framework of the Brexit, because the brexiters have touted the idea that the sovereignty of maritime of the United Kingdom would enable him to regain control over 70 % of its marine resources, ensuring that its fishermen income comfortable on the model of Norway or Iceland. The clashes between the fishermen in French, English and irish in August last year about fishing for coquille Saint-Jacques were the backdrop in the minds of the negotiators of the Brexit.

In fact, more than 40 % of the fish caught by european Union countries come from the territorial waters of the british. And the French fishermen are not left out… On the other hand, the British will need access to the european single market without customs duties for products of the fisheries. This interdependence – fishing zone for some, access to the market for the other – should be able to find an agreement.

The fishermen brexiters furious against a “capitulation”

The output of the United Kingdom of the common fisheries policy will be a two-time. Until the end of the transition period, at the end of December 2020, the Uk will still be subject to the common fisheries policy. The association Fishing for Leave, representing the british fishermen pro-Brexit, has condemned the agreement, called a ” capitulation “, and accused Theresa of lying to the Commons. It therefore calls on the british parliament to rebut this agreement. It has found an ear with 13 mps scottish conservatives, who have announced that they do not vote the agreement, in support of the fishermen of scotland. For information, the Europeans have consumed, in 2016, 12,41 million tonnes of fish and seafood products, which is 24 kilos per capita (57 pounds for the Portuguese). The United Kingdom is the third largest producer of fish and second in aquaculture.

According to the withdrawal agreement, the fishing quotas are decided in 2018 will be applied in 2019 in the territorial waters of the uk. However, the Uk will no longer be the decision-making table as of march 29, 1919. For the year 2020, the quotas will be decided by the 27 member States, but the british authorities will be consulted. The current situation will not therefore change. The distribution of “total allowable catches” (TACS) between member States and the United Kingdom will be following the same principles as those of today. The situation is thus frozen in the state until the United Kingdom and its 6 200 fishing vessels are in full control of its maritime territories.

A regulatory cooperation to build

What happens after the transition period ? The joint political declaration, adopted on Sunday at the european summit, only fixes the general principles of cooperation in the future. The United Kingdom and the EU are committed to ensuring that fishing activities do not destroy the stocks in such a way that the marine species threatened continue to be protected by regulation. But, this time, there will be two regulations distinct, that of Europe and the United Kingdom. Discrepancies may arise…

To avoid them to the maximum, the parties are committed to negotiating an agreement during the transition period to adjust to the principle of reciprocal access to the respective territorial waters and the setting of fishing quotas. It would be necessary that this agreement be signed prior to July 1, so that it applies as soon as the end of the transition period. But nothing is binding : it is only an obligation of means, not of result.

May fishing for votes

If the United Kingdom and the EU do not fall out of agreement, it is the most perilous. In fact, the famous “backstop” (safety net) will not apply to marine areas in Northern Ireland. The withdrawal agreement has explicitly provided, in respect of Northern Ireland, that the products of the fishing and aquaculture are excluded from the customs agreement with Great Britain. The british fishermen would then have to pay customs duties according to the rules of the world trade Organization.

ample leverage to compel the parties to cooperate ? All of this remains for the moment hypothetical, because it was necessary that the british Parliament approves the withdrawal agreement. However, for the time being, the oppositions are many, from all political groups, including the tories. Theresa May is a party to the fishing… the voice.

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