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Fishing after Brexit: "With good will, we can make it work"

Fishing after Brexit:

Wednesday 30 December 2020

Fishing after Brexit: "With good will, we can make it work"

The States of Guernsey has agreed to the terms of the UK’s post-Brexit agreement, with local fishermen relieved not to be suddenly facing trade tariffs that would have threatened the industry.

Bailiwick fishermen will not yet lose any rights to fish in French waters. They’ll still be able to land their catches in France, at ports such as Dielette, and there’ll be no extra tariffs forced upon them.

The President of the Guernsey Fishermen’s Association, Barry Paint, has said there are still discussions to be had in the future, but there are a lot of benefits that have been welcomed by local fishermen. 

“There are no tariffs being pushed on our fishermen, which could have seen 20% taken from what they make," said Mr Paint. 

fishing fish boat

Pictured: Annual talks will take place between the UK and the EU after 2026 over longer-term access and territorial waters. 

The terms of the UK-EU trade deal were voted in unanimously during a hastily arranged States meeting on Sunday. 

However, there will be no drastic changes immediately. “We’ve simply agreed to give the British Government permission to represent us,” said Mr Paint.

We can expect boats from the EU to fish in UK waters during the ‘transition period’, which will last until 2026. There will be a phasing out of the share the EU gets from our waters during the next five years, and after 2026 the UK will have the right to completely exclude EU boats from its waters.

Mr Paint thinks balance is important here, as any rash decisions could jeopardise the "very important and special relationship" that Guernsey has with France.

“We still want our access to the French markets," said Mr Paint. 

Pictured top: Barry Paint has worked in the industry since he was a teenager.

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