Brexit LIVE: Panicked Ireland admits its fishermen face ARREST for plundering UK waters
TENSIONS have erupted after Ireland admitted its fishermen could face arrest for plundering UK waters.
Brexit deal has 'smashed people's dreams' says fishing boss
On Christmas Eve, Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured an historic Brexit trade deal based on zero tariffs and zero quotas. But the Irish Government has warned there is an “increased risk” of enforcement action against Irish vessels operating in British waters.
Last week, the Northern Celtic, an Irish fishing vessel, was boarded and expelled from waters off the coast of Rockall, a small rocky outpost in the North Atlantic, which the UK claims as sovereign territory.
Now, the Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue are in talks with Scottish and UK authorities to discuss Ireland’s rights in the area.
The joint statement said they were “considering all options for further engagement on the issues involved” - and admitted Irish fishermen were facing "an increased risk of enforcement action".
They went on to say how the issue may require contact with the European Commission - a threat to quickly involve Brussels in UK policy.
Panicked Ireland admits its fishermen face ARREST for plundering UK waters
Boris Johnson secured Brexit deal in December
Under the Fisheries Agreement between the UK and EU, it allows EU vessels to enter six to 12 nautical mile zones only in the English and Bristol Channels.
Rockall sits within the UK’s 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone and the Scottish government has said there is no right of access for non-UK vessels to fish in these waters.
Sean O’Donoghue, chief executive of the Killybegs Fisherman’s Organisation, said Irish fishermen do not accept Scotland’s assertion of a 12-mile no-go zone.
He said: “We are hoping that the diplomatic solution that was found two years ago will be found this time as well and the status quo that has been there for decades will prevail.”
Ireland's foreign minister Simon Coveney
Adrian McClenaghan, the Northern Celt captain, revealed around 30 percent of his annual catch comes from around Rockall.
After his vessel was boarded last week, Mr McClenaghan said: “We were fishing in Rockall and members of the crew from the Jura boarded us.
“They informed us that we could no longer fish inside the 12-mile limit of Rockall.
“The Scottish navy are continuing to patrol the 12-mile limit and we're waiting on further instructions from the Department of Foreign Affairs on what their next move will be.”
European fishing dependence on British waters
A spokesperson for Marine Scotland said: “As per long-standing arrangements, Marine Scotland has reported the breach of licence conditions to their Irish and UK counterparts.
“We will always engage constructively with our EU partners in ensuring the sustainable management of fish stocks is at the heart of our partnership.”
Disputes overfishing had been one of the main stumbling blocks in trade agreement talks between London and Brussels.
Under the agreement, 25 percent of EU boats fishing rights in UK waters will be transferred to British boats over the next five years.
Ireland's fishing industry faces collapse over Brexit deal
Following this adjustment period, in 2026, the UK will have access to an extra £145 million of fish per year.
Annual negotiations will take place between the EU and UK to decide what quota, if any, European boats can take.
However, if Britain blocks access completely the EU could respond by taxing the export of British fish.
Fishing was one of the key issues in talks
As a result of its EU membership, the UK was subject to the controversial European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
Under the CFP, all member states are given access to EU waters via quotas.
As the UK has a large coastal area, critics argued the system was unfair.
Predictions for the new year 2021 offer a possible glimpse into the future after what has been a turbulent and chaotic 12 months.
Here are the top predictions for 2021 made by a leading British psychic.
The past 12 months have won the award for the "worst year ever" and predictions for 2021 might offer some much-needed respite.
Not only did 2020 see the coronavirus pandemic affect people in every corner of the globe, including an isolated station in Antarctica, but the year was chockfull of political upheaval, civil unrest and natural disasters.
In South America, the year began with devastating wildfires raging through the Amazon - fires that increased by 13 percent in the first nine months of 2020.
Brexit ‘was never about economics’ says Claire Fox
The European Union could see one member state feel increasingly isolated due to Brexit as an expert claimed both countries share "scepticism" concerning the centralisation of the bloc.
Denmark frequently aligned itself with the UK on a number of policies during debates in Brussels, and even joined the European bloc on the same day: January 1, 1973.
But with Brexit, the country loses a crucial ally within the EU.
This has led to political figures in Denmark and analysts highlighting the potential challenges that could face Copenhagen.
Social Democratic MEP Christel Schaldemose told DR in January last year, as the UK officially left the EU, that Brexit is "sad" for the country.
Brexit can still be reversed, France’s Minister for European Affairs has claimed in a clear indication the result of the 2016 referendum has not sunk in across the English Channel.
And Clement Beaune, a close ally of French President Emmanuel Macron, has also predicted future difficulties in the implementation of the trade deal unveiled by Boris Johnson on Christmas Eve in a number of key areas - including fishing, underlining France’s determination to protect the interests of its own industry.
Mr Beaune has been an outspoken critic of the UK’s decision to quit the bloc, having claimed the process was based on “lies” and accusing Prime Minister Boris Johnson of making a u-turn with the UK’s decision to pull out of Erasmus, the EU’s cultural programme for students.
Now he has floated the idea of Britain returning to the fold - less than a fortnight after Brexit was finalised.
France’s Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune
8.45am update: Former Tory minister says Government's appoach to immigration is 'inhuman'
Former Conservative immigration minister Caroline Nokes has described the Government's approach to immigration as "inhuman" and said it will ultimately cost taxpayers more money.
In an interview with the Independent, Ms Nokes accused ministers of "paying lip service" to Wendy Williams' Lessons Learned report on the Windrush scandal, which occurred while she was in office.
Ms Nokes, the Tory MP for Romsey and Southampton North, said ministers had failed to prioritise people in Home Office policy, as recommended in the report, and described the department's direction on immigration overall as "hideously wrong".
She sharply criticised the approach to asylum seekers taken by current Home Secretary Priti Patel and minister Chris Philp, saying an increasingly "brutal" response risks "whipping up an unpleasant reaction to some very vulnerable people", while creating legal and financial problems for ministers in the future.
"I don't know where we go next from here. I think it's a great shame that they aren't being more compassionate towards some really vulnerable people," the former minister said.
"We know these people are going to have had huge trauma. It fills me with horror that our supported asylum accommodation processes have gone so hideously wrong that they can't even recognise that this is not a decent way to accommodate people," Ms Nokes added.
"The Home Office went through so much pain over Windrush; the Home Secretary herself has described it as a stain on the Home Office.
"And yet it appears that we don't care that putting asylum seekers in a camp with no water might also be regarded as a shameful stain on the Home Office."
Former Tory minister Caroline Nokes
Nicola Sturgeon has launched on another anti-Brexit Twitter rant, prompting calls for the SNP leader to be banned from Twitter like US President Donald Trump was last week.
Brexiteers have called on the social media giant to suspend Ms Sturgeon’s account after Mr Trump was permanently banned on Friday after he allegedly breached the website’s rules.
Eurozone weakness is such that the EU's single currency could fall apart if a "full fiscal and political union" is not adopted, a UK economist has warned.
Professor David Blake, Professor of Economics at City, University of London, said the monetary union’s problems were such that it was crucial for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to forge trade alliances within what the academic called the “Anglosphere” - while pushing for membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership spearheaded by Japan.
In total, 19 of the EU27 countries are members of the eurozone, referring to the area in which the euro is used.
Since its inception 22 years ago, Prof Blake said the currency had been buffeted by a series of crises, in particular the Global Financial Crisis in 2007-08, the eurozone banking and sovereign debt crisis which began at the end of 2009, and the global coronavirus pandemic.