Fisheries boss warns no deal Brexit to cause ‘conflict’ as EU forced into Irish waters

Brexit: No deal could bring 'conflict' in Irish fishing waters says expert

Sean O’Donoghue told Euronews that Irish fishermen’s biggest concerns with the UK quitting the European Union are changes to their quotas, percentage share of fish and access in the event of a no deal Brexit. He admitted that he was worried by the prospect of European fishermen heading to Irish waters if the British Government bars EU vessels from entering British waters past December 31.

He was asked: “Is there a concern that if other European fishermen aren’t allowed in UK waters, they may head to Ireland?”

Mr O’Donoghue said: “I think there is a concern about that.

“Our biggest concern is the access, the quota shares, the percentage shares we have.

“These are part and parcel of the Brexit negotiations as such.

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“I would not see that happening immediately whereas if there is a no deal the access happens immediately.

“I think you would be more likely to see conflict both at sea and land in a no deal scenario than the displacement being a huge issue at the beginning.”

Boris Johnson has been warned by a leading barrister that he may have to break international law as the withdrawal agreement will enable the EU to partially partition the UK down the Irish sea.

Jon Holbrook questioned how Boris Johnson and the UK Government could sign up to the terms outlined in the withdrawal agreement.

Brexit: Boris 'never properly read' WAB claims barrister

Mr Holbrook said: “It seems to me that Boris and everyone else who cheered that withdrawal agreement never properly read it.

“They only seem to have now discovered that that withdrawal agreement will enable the EU to partially partition the United Kingdom down the Irish Sea.

“I mean what sensible government could possibly sign the country up to that.

“Though that is the difficulty that he’s never realised we’re in so he’s now proposing to pass national legislation that will enable us to breach our international obligations.”


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On Wednesday, the European Union also received a warning to stay out of the Welsh fishing waters following the end of the Brexit transition period from the Secretary of State for Wales.

Simon Hart told the House of Commons that the people of Wales have made it clear they are not willing to accept EU fishermen having access to their waters

Mr Hart said: “The fishing industry made its views absolutely clear back in 2016 as did 55 percent of the Welsh nation.

“UK sovereignty over fishing in UK waters is not up for discussion.”

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