Cooperation, not confrontation needed to solve post-Brexit fishing challenges

Apr 25, 2018


The EU and UK must enter fisheries negotiations in the “spirit of cooperation” if their fishing industries are to thrive post-Brexit ECR MEPs and fishing representatives said today.

The ECR Group’s Projekt Hansa initiative hosted fishing associations and industry experts today to discuss the implications and opportunities that Brexit presents fishing communities. The project, led by ECR MEP Rupert Matthews, builds on the legacy of the medieval Hanseatic League which established trade links across the British Isles, Scandinavia, northern Germany, and the Baltics.

Dutch MEP Peter Van Dalen, ECR Fisheries Spokesman, said:

“We need to go forward in the spirit of cooperation so that Dutch, British and other EU fishing fleets survive post-Brexit. Confrontation will hurt all our fishermen by putting their livelihoods in danger and risking the future of the industry.

“Today’s discussions have underlined the importance of us finding a new way to fish together, whether it’s cooperation on sustainable fishing, trade links or access to the more than 100 shared fishing stocks in the North Sea.”

Chair of Projekt Hansa, UK MEP Rupert Matthews, said:

“The United Kingdom is clear that we will be leaving the unpopular Common Fisheries Policy and taking back control of our fishing waters. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t need to cooperate together to secure the future of our fishing industries.

“Funnily enough, fish don’t respect national borders so when it comes to sustainability, access and trade we must find a new agreement that works for us all. That is why Projekt Hansa organised today’s event so we can continue the conversation on the challenges we face together.

“British fishermen are relying on their government and MEPs to get them a better deal post-Brexit, and we will, but as fishing representatives have made clear today, that also means maintaining our crucial trade links between the UK and the EU.”