There has been a lukewarm response to the €14million fisheries aid package to be distributed in the event of a No-deal’ Brexit from Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation CEO Seán O’Donoghue, who warned of flashpoints around Europe if EU fishing vessels are excluded from UK waters after 31st October.
The package was announced in the Budget 2020 to provide support for fishing companies and communities expected to be hit hard by a chaotic No-Deal Brexit, in the event of the UK leaving the European Union without an agreement.
‘While any funding directed into fisheries would typically be welcomed, this is a horse of a different colour. In essence, this is effectively a glorified redundancy payment for many of our members who have put their hearts and souls into developing businesses in the most hazardous and challenging work environment on earth,’ Seán O’Donoghue said.
‘It would be available for a very limited time only thereby ignoring the long-term, grim, commercial ramifications on our industry, of Britain exiting the EU without a deal.’
He added that state aid rules would have to be amended for the aid package to be drawn down.
‘We implore an orderly transition on November 1st in the event that a deal cannot be agreed between Britain and the EU. Should Irish and other EU fleets be denied access to UK waters after midnight on October 31st next, there will be flash points all across Europe in scenes potentially reminiscent of the cod wars of the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘70s.’