An important step forward: EUFA on the transition agreement

Press release: EUFA welcomes agreement on transition period and progress in Brexit negotiations


Brussels – The European Fisheries Alliance (EUFA) welcomes the agreement in principle on a transition period announced today by EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier and the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis MP.

The EUFA has stressed from the outset of the Brexit negotiations that fishing fleets on both sides of the Channel need time and predictability to make appropriate plans for the future. A transition period that maintains relative stability will ensure the continued sustainability of stocks and economic competitiveness for the fishing industry in the EU and the UK, while a mutually beneficial future EU-UK fisheries agreement is negotiated.

The EUFA recognises the importance of involving the UK in a meaningful way in the annual discussions on total allowable catches (TACs) and fishing opportunities during the transition. We believe the proposed mechanism in Article 125 provides a pragmatic solution and are pleased that the UK would be able to take part in international consultations and negotiations as part of the EU delegation as and when appropriate.

The progress made on the draft Withdrawal Agreement, including the transition period, is a step in the right direction and the EUFA would like to thank the European Commission’s Task Force 50 and the governments of our respective Member States for their efforts to date.

We now look forward to the adoption of European Council guidelines on the future framework for EU-UK relations and discussions on the post-Brexit relationship in the area of fisheries. In this regard, the EUFA believes it is vital to maintain existing access to waters and resources and to conduct negotiations in the context of wider trade relations. The historic interdependence between the EU and UK fishing industries means both sides have a strong interest in reaching a good outcome.

EUFA Chairman Gerard van Balsfoort stated that:

“Today’s announcement on the transition period is an important step forward. It gives both the EU and UK fishing fleets certainty until the end of 2020 and allows time to negotiate a post-Brexit fisheries relationship which is in the interest of both sides. The EUFA believes it is important that the UK is properly consulted during the transition and today’s draft agreement should help to achieve that.

We now stand ready to support the European Commission and the EU27 during the next phase of negotiations on the future framework. Maintaining reciprocal access to waters and resources should be at the heart of the post-Brexit relationship in fisheries given the historic ties between our countries and industries.”

About the European Fisheries Alliance

The European Fisheries Alliance is a coalition of European fishing fleets directly impacted by Brexit. For the time being, members include national organizations from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden. The alliance accounts for over 18,000 fishermen and 3,500 vessels across the up and downstream industry, with an annual turnover €20.7 billion.

For media queries and further information, please contact:

Chairman: Mr. Gerard Van Balsfoort

Secretariat: +32 2 282 96 99

To learn more the impact of Brexit on Fisheries, visit our Key issues section