Politics

Ireland fishing FURY: Chief shames Dublin and EU over ‘horrific betrayal’ in Brexit deal

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And Patrick Murphy has warned the decision will devastate whole communities – as well as costing his country hundreds of millions of euros. The deal – struck on Christmas Eve – will enable EU fishermen to continue fishing in UK waters.

But the agreement will also effectively push boats from other EU countries into Irish waters, reducing fish stocks for local fishermen.

Mr Murphy, CEO of the Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation, told Express.co.uk: “Recent statements on Brexit and on fishing emanating from our political leadership have pushed many fishing communities and many of those engaged in Ireland’s fishing industry over the edge”.

Taking aim at “feckless politicians and Government agencies”, he added: “We in the industry have spent most of our days since Christmas Eve desperately trying to calculate the devastation that is foisted upon our Irish people by the agreement reached between the UK and EU without a shred of assistance from our department officials.

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The score reads: Ireland 1 – United Kingdom 99

Patrick Murphy

“The score reads: Ireland 1 – United Kingdom 99.”

Mr Murphy singled out as “shameful” a remark by Charlie McConalogue, Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine that the Irish fishing industry will take “a lot of pain upfront” from Brexit.

He added: “This is a national asset which is to be stripped from us, traded and gifted as part of a deal with our nearest neighbour the UK and so-called European partners.

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“This is a horrific betrayal of the negotiating mandate the European Union said was in place to protect our rights as EU citizens.

“Whoever this deal benefits among our European neighbours it certainly confers no benefits on Irish fishing communities and inflicts only pain and loss.

“While the Minister now acknowledges that this industry will suffer the most intense pain in order to satisfy greater forces in international trade he declares this giveaway as a positive for the entire state.”

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Mr Murphy also said the Irish Government had downplayed the damage to the Irish economy by suggesting it would amount to €35 million annually, suggesting this figure was likely to actually be around €87 million.

He added: “No account is taken of the very many other local industries dotted along our coastline in isolated villages and small towns that are dependent upon this very significant loss in income of €87 million per annum in each and every year, forever!

“This is a disgrace and should be the source of huge embarrassment for anyone claiming that this wholly unwelcome, forced and imposed sacrifice is acceptable!

“The wounds inflicted on our coastal communities will be felt for many a long year to come with the losses repeating in each and every following year.

“They will multiply very quickly over time resulting in €100s of millions becoming billions being lost to our country and to our coastal communities that are supposed to be protected by the EU Common Fishery Policy and by our Irish political class sent to Europe to represent us.

“It is from our very own sea that others living in far-distant parts of Europe are gifted the spoils, contradicting all notions of fairness and natural justice and the supposed protections for remote coastal communities set forth in the CFP.”

UK waters were almost identical to Irish waters insofar as both hold and contain the “wealth of Europe’s fish stocks”, Mr Murphy said.

Referring to Brexit, he added: “Our neighbouring fishers saw others gaining and holding the wealth of their waters and now their country’s leaders have successfully exited the hated Common Fishery Policy with enormous increases granted to English, Welsh, Scots and even Northern Irish fishers under a concept known as zonal attachment.

“Zonal attachment” of a stock is the share of the stock residing within a particular country’s economic zone, if necessary weighted by the time it spends in a country’s zone over a year.

“This, then, determines the share that each country gets of the total catch quota for that stock.

“We Irish Fishers are possessed of every bit as equal a Natural Right to fish in our own waters as are British Fishers but this Right has, once again been sacrificed with consummate ease by those we the people elected to protect our Rights and defend our Social and Economic Interests at home and in Europe.”

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