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Thread: Brexit

  1. #631

    A tale of two rule-breakers

    Why Irish PM Leo Varadkar's shirtless picnic is causing far less fuss than Dominic Cummings' Durham trip.

    Imagine if Dominic Cummings had been papped at a picnic, back in the early days of lockdown when having a picnic was against the rules. His shirt off, tucking into grub and booze, gleefully failing to social distance from his fellow picnickers. It would be frontpage news. ‘The elite living it up while the rest of us suffer’, every boring lockdown leftist would cry, ad nauseum. Which is funny because this scenario has occurred, though featuring Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar rather than chattering-class bete noire Dominic Cummings, and, you won’t be surprised to hear, there has been virtually no fuss.

    A few days ago, photos emerged showing Varadkar and his partner, Matthew Barrett, having a picnic with friends in Phoenix Park in Dublin. At first, the photos were just floating around social media. The media, especially the notoriously unctuous Irish media, were not interested. Eventually, however, notice had to be taken. The pics were published in the press. They made their way over to the UK media too, in the BBC, the Guardian and elsewhere. And guess what tone these reports struck? Yep, they were sympathetic, supportive. ‘Nothing to see here.’

    Now, as it happens, I agree there is nothing to see here. I fully support the Taoiseach’s, and every other Irish person’s, right to have a picnic, even if Ireland’s stringent lockdown advice says picnics are not allowed. And the advice has said that, pretty plainly. Indeed, a few days before the Taoiseach’s ‘shirtless picnic’, as the media refer to it, his own assistant secretary, Liz Canavan, advised against picnicking. ‘If you’re visiting a public amenity, try not to stay too long at the site or have picnics… do your exercise and go home’, she said.

    Varadkar, her boss, the man who runs Ireland and has been promoting the lockdown and social distancing for weeks, was not exercising. He was picnicking. What’s more, the current guidelines in Ireland say that you can meet one or two people from other households so long as you maintain a two-metre distance. The Taoiseach’s get-together in the sun looked far cosier than that.

    To me, that’s fine. I don’t think anyone – Varadkar, Cummings, Neil Ferguson, people crowding on to beaches, kids smoking weed in parks – should be slammed for exercising their judgement and bending lockdown rules. But some people, especially in the media, do care about the lockdown rules. A lot. Just witness their borderline deranged fury with Cummings for driving to Durham, not to whip his shirt off and eat and drink with friends, but to keep his ill family safe in an uncertain period. That caused
    media hysteria, including in Ireland, whereas Varadkar’s picnic generated only a tiny amount of criticism in the Irish press. Everyone else has shrugged their shoulders.

    Why the double standards? Everyone knows the answer to this question. It’s because of politics. Varadkar is every Remoaner’s favourite Brexit-blocker, a man cheered for behaving like a patsy of the EU over the past couple of years
    . Cummings, on the other hand, is viewed as evil incarnate – the man who helped to deliver Brexit and Boris to Downing St and who, in the process, shattered the dreams of the Remainer elites and the woke left. They loathe him, and their weird, obsessive, creepy focus on where he went during lockdown is transparently an extension of that loathing.

    It’s so clear now that the Cummings fuss has nothing to do with car journeys, Durham, Barnard Castle or any of the other crap. This is Remoaner Revenge and chattering-class politicking dolled up as concern about the pandemic. That’s why Varadkar is forgiven for having a shirtless picnic while Cummings is demonised for driving north to protect his wife and child from media intrusion. How about this: we forgive them both and move the hell on.

    A tale of two rule-breakers - spiked

    28 V 2020.

    How true is the statement that the MSM / Press don't report news but make news?
    Varadkar is gay and Indian which further adds to the 'free pass'.

  2. #632

    BBC Bias: No Apology from Maitlis for Anti-Cummings Rant, But ‘Big Thank You’ to Supporters

    BBC anchor Emily Maitlis has not apologised for a rant against Dominic Cummings which the broadcaster admits broke the rules on impartiality.

    The British Broadcasting Corporation, being funded by the public,
    through a compulsory
    licence fee which live television viewers must pay whether they consume BBC programming or not –or else face fines backed by the threat of imprisonment, is obliged maintain a neutral, balanced stance in its news reporting.

    BBC staff may play Devil’s Advocate when interviewing politicians and so on, putting the arguments which they believe their guests’ opponents would put to them — but they are not allowed to use their publicly-funded platform to take sides or voice their own political opinions, like staffers on left- or right-leaning commercial networks in the United States such as CNN and Fox News.

    On the BBC’s flagship Newsnight programme, however, anchor Emily Maitlis opened the May 27th show with a speech declaring in definitive and highly partisan terms that Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, “broke the rules, the country can see that and it’s shocked the government cannot” when he travelled from London to Durham to ensure his young child’s healthcare needs could be met if he and his wife were incapacitated by the coronavirus.

    She followed with a dig about how Cummings had in the past “tagged the lazy label of ‘elite'” on political opponents — principally establishment Remainers — and claimed the public mood towards him is “one of fury, contempt, and anguish” before accusing the Prime Minister of “blind loyalty” for defending his “reasonable and legal” behaviour.

    The BBC received thousands of complaints about Maitlis’s tirade, and had to admit, after much obfuscation, that it “did not meet our standards of due impartiality”.

    While Cummings’ enemies believe he should be fired for alleged rule-breaking, however, Maitlis’s admitted rule-breaking does not appear to warrant any punishment in the eyes of the BBC, which merely noted that “Our staff have been reminded of the guidelines.”

    There was speculation that Maitlis’s absence from Newsnight the day after her rant was some form of punishment, but she has since revealed that she was absent simply because she had herself asked for the night off, with substitute Katie Razzall further confirming that she had “not been asked by the BBC to take [the night] off — and if I thought she had been, I certainly wouldn’t have agreed to present the show”.

    Indeed, Maitlis not only declined to apologise for her actions, she actually posted a message saying she was “overwhelmed by all the kindness, messages – and support on here – and I’ve probably missed much of it” on social media, and offered “A big thank you” not just from herself, but “from us all at [Newsnight]” — suggesting a signal lack of contrition for the stunt.

    Whether the BBC or Ofcom, the broadcast regulator, will take any further, meaningful action remains to be seen.

    Maitlis has previous form for revealing her political biases in her supposedly impartial journalism, launching into an astonishing pro-EU rant after clashing with the Hungarian foreign minister in an interview centring on his government’s hard line against illegal immigration and state-sponsored multiculturalism in

    “The problem with the European Union is it believes in tolerance, diversity, and human rights,” she railed at him, visibly quivering with anger.

    “And you are rejecting them all. So maybe it isn’t for you,” she said.

    The BBC is an anti-white propaganda outlet for unchecked migration, transgenderism, alphabet gimmicks du jour, and hatred of the West. That Brits are forced to pay for it is perverse.

    BBC, ITV, SkyNews – the whole lousy bunch have positioned themselves as the unofficial opposition to the Conservative government.
    They probably see themselves as the intelligent, sophisticated, creative and politically aware people standing up to a dangerously incompetent populist government foolishly voted into office by the ignorant masses. That's certainly how the narrative appears.
    The democratic process will enable us to vote out governments but, unfortunately, we are stuck with our broadcasters. I would dearly like to be able to vote David Attenborough, Andrew Marr and Piers Morgan into early retirement.

    40+ Tory MPs are ‘threatening a revolt over Cummings’. The ‘revolt’ is actually testing the waters for an attempt to force an extension of the ‘Transition Period’ for another two years, presumably as a preliminary to overturning Brexit.
    If anything is ‘beyond a joke’ it’s the fact that four years after the Referendum, Remainers are STILL trying to overturn democracy.

    no, I’m afraid I don’t think it does help to explain why the mainstream media have made such a raging cyclone out of this teacup-sized weather-event and nor does it help to explain why they’ve made up a false case against Cummings which appeals to the basest cynicism in people by painting him as an arrogant hypocrite who is treating the British people with cavalier contempt – all without any real evidence.

    The BBC is the 'Number One' breaker of virus rules.

    29 V 2020.

    When there's any criticism of the 'establishment' they simply close rank and ignore it.

  3. #633

    Irish Media take on Varadkar and Cummings stepping out of 'lockdown'

    Britain has never meaningfully confronted its racism, which is colonialism, building an “empire” on the back of invading and pillaging and inflicting misery on whatever shores its brutal mercenaries dressed up as representatives of a made up crown landed upon. Colonialism is a boomerang: it eventually comes home. If they come for me in the morning, they will come for you in the night. The most obvious manifestation of colonialism in Britain is the acceptance and maintenance of class. The class system says: we are the kings and you are the peasants, and that will never change. How can a British person be aghast at someone blithely wielding authority without any consequences, when they live in a monarchy, and when one of their political chambers of power is stacked with “Lords” who assume such positions through hereditary birth right?

    Other countries need to pay attention to modern Britain. What has happened is instructive. Accepting plummeting standards in media, possessing a pathological deference to posh bullies, being ignorant of one’s history, accepting inequality as some kind of natural law, celebrating buffoons, and a blithe and arrogant exceptionalism is the real downfall, not Dominic Cummings’ lies.

    We need to pay very close attention to what is happening ...
    28/05/2020 · We need to pay very close attention to what is happening in Britain now A nation that does not confront its national identity will not be able to move forward Thu, May 28, 2020, 01:19

    The whole establishment in the Rep of Ireland is the one that needs to step back and take a look at itself. Free and open debate prevented and shut down by EU political correctness, so that won't happen. Instead we have more of the old 'Everything is Britain's fault'.

  4. #634

    EU Threatens UK, Needs to Be ‘More Realistic’ in Brexit Talks or Risk No Deal

    The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, threatened that if the United Kingdom does not capitulate to “more realistic demands” then the EU will forgo further negotiations in favour of a no-deal Brexit.

    The French eurocrat accused Britain of “cherry-picking” in Brexit negotiations.

    “It needs to be more realistic. Because we will not accept cherry-picking. Nor will we accept an agreement which would go to the detriment and the integrity of the Single Market,” Barnier said in an interview with The Times.“We haven’t accepted it and we will not accept cherry-picking to the detriment of the EU Single Market and the member-states because they themselves accept a number of rules, the Court of Justice, contributions to the European budget and the rules of the EU,” he claimed.

    The eurocrat admitted that there has not been “an awful lot of progress” in trade negotiations with the British, but went on to say that Britain could “breathe new life” into talks by agreeing to submit to European Union regulations on labour, security, and permitting European fishing trawlers to continue taking the majority 80% of the fish in British territorial waters. “Clearly we want an agreement but that cannot be an agreement at any cost. To succeed in this we have called upon the UK to show more realism,” he insisted.

    Last week, the EU’s trade negotiator went as far as
    writing a letter to a group of anti-Brexit British opposition MPs, promising that the bloc would be in favour of extending the so-called transition period by “up to one or two years” — effectively delaying Brexit until 2023. “The European Union has always said that we remain open on this matter. Any extension decision has to be taken by the Joint Committee before July 1, and must be accompanied by an agreement on a financial contribution by the United Kingdom,” Barnier said. Any extension to the transition period would effectively lock the United Kingdom into a situation where they would be bound by EU diktats while having zero representation in the decision-making process. The country lost its representation in Brussels after formally leaving the EU on January 31st, 2020, despite the fact it remains an EU member in all but name while the transition negotiations are ongoing.

    Should the United Kingdom and the European Union fail to reach an agreement within the next month, British negotiators will exit talks with the EU, and the country will begin making preparations over the next six months to begin trading with the bloc on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms. According to government sources, Boris Johnson has already begun planning for such a contingency.

    A list of concessions Barnier has made could be written on the head of a pin, except there'd be nothing to write.
    His only mandate is to demand unconditional surrender, keep Britain under the jackboot of the EU and obtain free rein to pillage the Treasury.
    It is a joke to believe that Barnier is negotiating anything. He has a written mandate and no authority to make any concessions.

    Nothing wrong with no deal. It's what Brexiteers have been after for years, but Remainers posing as soft Brexiteers have wanted BRINO, Brexit in name only.

    It's becoming very obvious that Barnier is not negotiating on behalf of the 27, now it boils down to a small number of States with North Sea coastlines and those with significant corporate or industrial interests.
    In reality Barnier is the mouthpiece for France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium... and Ireland. The rest tag along for the ride or, if you're cynical... as window dressing.

    Just pull the plug and walk away, these EU gangsters have been playing games for four years.

    EU Threatens UK, Needs to Be ‘More Realistic’ in Brexit Talks or Risk No Deal01 VI 2020.

    "Hotel California" Eagles

    Last thing I remember
    I was running for the door
    I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
    "Relax," said the night man
    "We are programmed to receive

    You can check-out any time you like
    But you can never leave!"

    No deal has been top of a lot of 'Brexiteers' wish list from the start.

  5. #635

    UK Fishermen Prepare for French Blockades, Slam EU for ‘Nuclear Option’ Trade Tactics

    A British fishing organisation is preparing for a return to the infamous English Channel scallops wars, as they anticipate blockades by French fishermen with the UK government refusing to back down on claiming back territorial waters.

    Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said that fishing will be the “acid test” of whether the British government successfully delivers on the June 2016 referendum vote to leave the European Union. Under EU rules, the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) sees more than 60% of Britain’s fish landings caught by EU fishermen. The proportion varies, however, by fish and area of the water, with French fishermen accessing 84% of English Channel cod. The British are legally entitled to just 9%.

    The transition period ends on December 31st, 2020, and the government has come under pressure from leftists and Europhiles to delay the exit due to coronavirus, and in case a new deal with the EU is not reached. Leading figures in the fishing industry, however, do not back an extension to the transition period and want to regain their waters outright without delay. The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations chief executive, Barrie Deas, said the workers he represents look forward to the end of the CFP. Mr Deas slammed the EU’s position of no deal without fishing waters as the “nuclear option”. Mr Deas said, according to The Guardian, that he thinks, however, it is “not very likely” that the UK will capitulate on fishing, as it “remains an emblematic issue for the government”. On Tuesday, the government brushed off recent
    claims in the media that the UK was about to back down on fishing sovereignty, with Downing Street calling it “wishful thinking by the EU”.

    The fishing chief continued that if there is a deviation from the CFP status quo, the French, who benefit the most from the current arrangement, will likely organise blockades in an attempt to obstruct British fishermen. “France benefits more than anybody else from relative stability from the current quota shares. If there’s any change to that, those quota shares or any other aspect that affects French fishermen, as day follows night there will be blockades, they have done it for much less in the past,” Mr Deas said, alluding to the “scallop wars”.

    Two summers ago, Cornish and French fishing boats clashed in the English Channel, with the French blocking the British fishing for scallops 12 nautical miles off of the Normandy coast, despite EU rules mandating it permissible. Another conflict had occurred over scallops in 2012, while in September 2018, Cornish fishermen accused their French counterparts of sabotaging their crab pots.

    The prime minister’s spokesman said on Tuesday: “We have always been clear there is no question of splitting the difference on the level-playing field and fish. “We aren’t compromising on these because our position on these is fundamental to an independent country. Any agreement has to deal with this reality. “We have set out what we are looking for — a balanced solution to reflect political realities on both sides. “What we can’t do is agree anything that would give up our rights as an independent state.”

    This is not the only Anglo-French battle raging in the English Channel, with tensions rising over the French Navy escorting boat migrants from the coast of France to British territorial waters, handing them off to UK Border Force despite the British paying the French millions to stop illegal migration.

    Surrender to the European fishing industry and the EU
    Surrender to the Covid-19 communist liars and fraudsters
    Surrender to the climate emergency scam artists
    Surrender to the professional race hustlers
    Surrender, Surrender, Surrender.
    Do the British elite have fight in them whatsoever? Or are they all now spineless jellyfish?

    British elites are on the side of global communist revolutionaries. They do not surrender their rights, they surrender the rights of British people.

    Britain was great until she sleepwalked into two totally avoidable wars. And as General Patton said, we fought the wrong people. Brits not finished yet though, defiance needed now more than ever.

    Don't forget though, this time the French have the Labour Party, SNP, Liberal Democrats, MSM and millions of remainers fighting for their side, not our's.

    Treason and chips twice please..


    03 VI 2020.

    There’s a long history of competition and conflict between Britain and France. Call it what ever -
    Anglophobia, Franophobia or Europhobia.

    As regards Fishing it’s reasonable that with Brexit and Independence Britain reverts to the pre EU position.

  6. #636

    Germany Tells EU to Prepare for No Trade Deal as Eurocrats Stick by Demands

    Germany has reportedly warned the European Union to prepare for the UK to leave the bloc’s institutions without a trade deal.

    The German government document, seen by Reuters and dated June 15th, says that the London is escalating threats against Brussels and is putting pressure on Brussels to conclude a deal quickly. Positions between the two parties are too far apart, the document said, and negotiators are running out of time.

    Bearing in mind that the UK has ruled out extending the transition period, Berlin advised Brussels to prepare for no deal.

    The UK officially left the European Union on January 31st, 2020, but remains in a transition period — tied to the bloc’s rules — until December 31st, 2020, until which both parties seek to agree on a future trading partnership. If a deal is not agreed, the UK will trade with the EU on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

    The EU has maintained a hard line that it wants the UK to abide by trading rules — the oft-mentioned “level playing field” — which will stop Brexit Britain becoming a competitor to the EU-27. The bloc also demands continued long-term access to Britain’s lucrative territorial fishing waters. Another sticking point is the European Court of Justice arbitrating on any future deal. The UK has consistently rejected all three conditions, as they contravene the British people’s 2016 mandate to regain sovereignty.

    Meanwhile, senior Eurocrats have said that without the UK surrendering to the bloc’s trade demands, there will be no deal.

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
    said on Wednesday that while she was “ready to be creative to find common ground”, there will no deal without “level playing field” pledges on regulations, an agreement on fishing, and trade deal oversight.

    The European Parliament has also threatened to veto any EU-UK trade deal that does not include the level playing field and fishing. Dutch MEP Kati Piri said on Wednesday that the parliament’s was unanimous in agreeing that “without a level playing-field and fisheries, there cannot be a trade agreement”.

    Meanwhile, the UK, which has been ramping up no-deal preparations, said that it would not “hang around” for a deal.

    Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told LBC radio on Thursday: “We’ve agreed on both sides to energise and intensify the talks, we don’t want to hang around, we’re not going to wait for this to be dragged out into the autumn and the winter.”

    The UK has already begun trade talks with the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

    The UK should have been prepared to pick up the ball and walk off the pitch three years ago.

    Report: Germany Tells EU to Prepare for No Trade Deal as Eurocrats Stick by Demands

    19 VI 2020.

    UK never belonged in an EU bloc.

    The problem with extortionists is they never are satisfied. Never give in to a blackmailer, it’s better to just refuse to comply, out them and take the consequences. A blackmailer will never quit, they’ll just keep hitting you up for more money, and more money.

  7. #637

    EU to Impose Full Customs Checks on UK Post-Brexit to ‘Protect Single Market’

    The European Union will not reciprocate the United Kingdom’s pledge to treat goods crossing the British-EU border with a light touch customs check, saying it will impose full controls “to protect the Single Market”.

    Speaking during a Chatham House webinar on Thursday, the EU’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Joao Vale de Almeida, said: “You can count on us to be forcible and systematic in implementing the deal, and in doing so certainly protecting the Single Market.”

    Britain officially left the EU on January 31st, 2020, but remains in the bloc’s Customs Union, Single Market, and associated Free Movement migration regime during a “transition period” which ends on December 31st, 2020. During this time, both parties are working on agreeing a future trading arrangement.

    The British government has maintained that it will leave all of the EU’s institutions, while the hardline EU has called for Britain to keep EU rules and continue to surrender her national fishing grounds to European trawlers.

    Last week, the British government had confirmed that it would gradually impose customs checks on EU goods in phases for six months, with full controls not coming into effect until July 2021. The measures are meant to make the transition easier for British businesses.

    Even if the United Kingdom agrees on a trade deal with the EU, once outside of the Single Market the UK would still need some customs checks: goods crossing the border will need customs declarations, and animal products will need health certificates, for example.

    Explicitly asked if the EU will reciprocate Britain’s gradualist approach, Mr de Almedia
    said, according to Bloomberg: “We took note of the British decision, but we are not at the point in time where we either need or wish to take decisions on our side.”

    Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage warned that failing to impose full border controls after the end of the transition period on December 31st, 2020, could mark the first betrayal” of Brexit after Cabinet minister Michael Gove had pledged to treat all foreign goods equally from January 1st, 2021.

    The EU’s prioritising the Single Market before good relations with the United Kingdom, which had a trade deficit of £72 billion with the bloc last year, is symbolic of what President Donald Trump has referred to as Brussels’ protectionism. Speaking at Davos in January, President Trump had said in January that the EU was “more difficult to do business with than China”.

    Brussels’ harsh treatment of the United Kingdom is also broadly in line with remarks Eurocrats made in previous years, where they said they would make it as hard as possible for the British to leave the EU to deter other member-states from exiting the protectionist bloc. Former European Parliament president Antonio Tajani said in 2019 that it was “impossible” that other members would leave, because “the example of the British will serve as a deterrent.”

    Top Member of European Parliament (MEP) Guy Verhofstadt said in 2018 that members would be put off seeking independence after watching the “chaos” of Brexit. While former President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said in 2017: “They will all see from the UK’s example that leaving the EU is a bad idea.”

    The EU’s punishing tactics may be working, however, with Swedish populists the Sweden Democrats backing down on an EU membership referendum pledge in their party manifesto after seeing how the bloc treated Brexit Britain. Party leader Jimmie Åkesson said last year that “clearly the EU does its utmost to complicate Britain’s departure”.

    Reports circulated this week that Germany has told the EU to prepare for ‘No Deal’, because the United Kingdom will not surrender on fishing or regulations, and because there are only six months left during which to strike a deal. A senior French official has also said that No Deal is a possibility, with junior European affairs minister Amelie de Montchalin saying on Thursday: “I am not ruling out anything.”

    The European Parliament, which can veto any deal agreed by Brussels and London, also said that “without a level playing-field and fisheries, there cannot be a trade agreement”. The British government said last week that no matter the outcome of negotiations, the United Kingdom will not seek an extension to the transition period and will leave the EU’s institutions at the end of this year.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly told EU leaders that he is prepared to trade with the bloc on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms if a deal is not agreed by the autumn.

    Bring back the Border......Check everything in and Out......Simple...That is what a Border is.

    Britain imports more from the EU she exports to the EU.

    After throwing Northern Ireland, an integral part of the United Kingdom, under a bus as a massive concession to the EU, perhaps the government can undo this weakness and restore NI's position as a full member of the UK?


    20 VI 2020.

    The only outcome of negotiations is we have allowed the UK to be split into 2 customs zones, which was the very first offer the EU made. If Boris gives any more ground for no real reason, then it’s BRINO.

  8. #638

    So long and thanks for all the fish: Irish fishermen say UK Brexit position could spell 'unmitigated disaster'

    THE DISPUTE ABOUT fisheries is a major issue in Brexit talks.

    Although a debate between the UK and EU around immigration has garnered more headlines in recent years, fishing rights are perhaps the most tangible example of why the UK wanted to leave in the first place. Over two-thirds of the EU’s fishing waters, and two-thirds of the EU’s fishing catch, belong to Ireland and the UK. Around half of Ireland’s fishing catch take place in UK waters. Now that the UK is leaving (and, theoretically, taking its waters with it) Ireland’s fishermen and fishing industry are under threat of being locked out of waters that had been frequented by Irish trawlers long before either country joined the EU.

    As it currently stands, the UK is still in the transition period, meaning it’s still abiding by the EU fishing rules of the Common Fisheries Policy. This dictates that EU fishing fleets have access to the 6-12 nautical mile limit around each country’s coast, and neighbouring countries have access to the 0-6 mile zone.

    A preliminary target date for the fisheries agreement to be struck was today, 1 July – but as of yesterday afternoon, the two sides were still debating the shape of the new fisheries arrangement to be in place between the EU and UK from next year. These negotiations are now expected to go on for most of July and August, and possibly into the autumn. Negotiators from Brussels are hoping the UK will give EU members access to its fishing waters so that the UK can gain access to the Single Market in return.

    Patrick Murphy, CEO of the Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation Ltd said that when Ireland first joined the EU in 1973 – the EEC as it then was – it had enough fish in its own waters and close by around the UK waters, that crews from here didn’t need to develop fishing sources elsewhere.

    French and Spanish coasts go too deep to trawl in, he said, so those fishermen come to the continental shelf around Ireland, the UK and Iceland where the fish come to spawn.

    “We’ve the jewel in the future of European waters: our fish, they come to spawn here, they go to the juvenile stage and they swim off to all the other countries.”

    But now that the UK is leaving, it’s losing half of its fishing grounds because it only ever fished in its immediate area. Irish crews fear that if there’s no deal on fisheries and the UK leaves the EU, the waters around Ireland will see even more traffic from Spanish, French and other European trawlers.

    “If you look at all the other countries, the nomads we’ll call them, they came to Ireland and England. So, even though they lose [British] grounds, they can still come into Ireland’s grounds,” said Murphy. “We’re going to see hundreds of boats coming in on top of us if we don’t get an agreement. So we not only lose our other farm, we have to share the little one we have with everybody else, and we have the smallest share of fish in that farm. The French would have 10 times our monkfish quota in the Celtic Sea than we would. This latter point about quotas is made by other fishermen too – that when Ireland entered the EU, there was more of an emphasis on agriculture than on fish, and because of that fisheries “didn’t get as good a deal as we would have hoped”.

    The UK had pushed for trade talks to be split into various sectors – with fisheries split out from other trade issues. But the EU has fought against that, and they are currently being negotiated as part of the one trade deal. Murphy insisted a fisheries agreement must remain part of the trade talks agenda. Sean O’Donoghue, CEO of the Killybegs Fisherman’s Organisation in Co Donegal, agrees. “If fisheries was split out from trade talks, we’re in really deep trouble,” O’Donoghue said, adding that if there isn’t a fisheries deal, there won’t be a trade deal.

    Access to UK waters

    John Ward is CEO of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation, which represents owners of trawlers and other commercial fishing vessels. He said that if Ireland loses access to UK waters, it would have “a tremendous negative effect on the Irish fishing fleet”. “Particularly for the two main species that we fish – being mackerel and prawns.” 64% of Ireland’s largest fishery, mackerel, and 43% of our second biggest fishery, prawns, is caught in UK waters. Mackerel migrate from the west coast of Norway, down the west coast of the UK, and the west coast of Ireland down to Biscay. They are available at different times and different areas, and we would fish a lot of our mackerel quota in UK waters. “If we didn’t have access to UK waters, we would only be able to fish mackerel, let’s say, in February, March, maybe April.” O’Donoghue said that it would be “an unmitigated disaster for us”. “If you look at it over 10 years, we’re over 60% dependent on catches of mackerel in the UK. We’re about 40% overall for all species. We share about over 50 species with the UK – the fish don’t recognise borders in the sea, as such. The UK vessels do fish quite a bit in our waters, but we fish more in their waters than they do in ours. He said that if we lost access to UK waters, it would halve the value of the seafood sector in two years. It would halve the size of the seafood sector, which is about €1.22 billion in value of the seafood industry. We would see that drop to €600 or 700 million of there was no deal for a long period of time. We would lose around 4,000 to 5,000 jobs of around 16,000 in the fishing industry [which includes ancillary services like production]. He said the numbers may seem small, but they are vital to coastal communities in Ireland. The fishing sector makes up 25% of employment along Donegal’s coasts.

    So what do fishermen want? According to Murphy: “If you’re asking what do fishermen want, boil it down – we want to be protected.“And the way we want to be protected … first of all we want the sustainability of the stock protected. We want to know how many boats are going to be allowed to come into Irish waters if the English kick them out. That’s first and foremost, it’s called displacement.” Murphy is worried about an influx of boats coming in around Irish shores to fish there, and the danger that poses for the quality and sustainability of fish stock. It would be like hosting a football tournament, he says – but having all the teams play at once instead of one-on-one. “So at the moment there’s a balance – boats fish all around the place, they have different ways of fishing. But if you condense them into one area, and they all keep running on the same grass at the same time, the grass won’t stand up. That’s nature. I think it’s the same for fishing.

    “They want to keep the same [Common Fisheries Policy], even though the UK is taking away one third of the waters and one third of the fish out of the pot.” Ireland’s waters represent around 20% of EU waters, and one third of the catch of fish, he says. “England and Ireland would be the kingpins over the fishing industry in Europe if we had nobody else there. We would be the guys with the goldmines.”

    This week marks the first face-to-face Brexit talks since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. They are being held in Brussels, with the level playing field request by the EU still proving to be the biggest stumbling block to agreeing a deal. Negotiators have until the end of the year to reach an EU-UK trade deal; the UK had he option of requesting an extension, but have refused that option repeatedly. The deadline to avail of that offer was yesterday, 30 June.

    Irish fishermen got shafted at every deal in the EU anyway it’s the biggest scandal of all time for the most profitable resource we had to be pilfered by other countries for the sake of non profitable farming we could have been national debt free on amount fish taken from Irish waters managed properly, we can’t go to Germany and take their coal from the Ruhr valley, can we? So long and thanks for all the fish: Irish fishermen say UK Brexit position could spell 'unmitigated disaster'01 VII 2020.

    EU membership for the Rep of Ireland was bought with the lure and promise of ‘free money’.

    What made Reynolds as a politician also undid him
    Some achievements during Reynolds time as taoiseach were significant. He went to a EU summit and secured €8 billion in structural and cohesion funds that acted as a stimulus for later dramatic growth in the economy.

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