EUFA meets Michel Barnier

Brussels – 25 September

EUFA is grateful to Mr. Barnier for the frank and constructive exchange and his unwavering commitment to achieving a balanced Brexit agreement that lays the foundations for a strong future relationship.

EUFA and Mr. Barnier reiterated that only a strong link between fisheries and the wider trade relationship can do justice to the complex reality of our sector. Given our natural interdependence, cooperation on the basis of mutual access to waters, fisheries resources, and markets is the only way forward to ensure continued sustainable fishing and the prosperity of all fleets.

Given the continued uncertainty in London, fishermen in the EU should be ready for all eventualities. If the UK leaves without an agreement and should this lead to disruption in access to fishing grounds that we have shared with British colleagues for centuries, the consequences will be grave. A challenge of this magnitude requires a determined and united response by the European Commission, the Member States and the fishing industry. Mr. Barnier outlined the ongoing efforts the Commission is making in this direction, while highlighting that any short-term effect of a disorderly withdrawal would set the tone for talks on the future EU-UK relationship.

EUFA chairman Gerard van Balsfoort stated “We are grateful to Mr. Barnier for his continued support for the fishing industry and efforts to reach a balanced agreement. Legal uncertainty at sea will have grave consequences for the sustainability of fish stocks shared between the EU and UK and the economic future of all fleets fishing in the area. Weathering this storm will require a firm and united response by the industry, the European Commission and the Member States. European Unity, under the present leadership of Mr. Barnier will be paramount to achieve this”.

He added “Fishermen must not be left empty handed or fall foul of short-term political goals. The current joint fisheries management framework is working and has greatly improved sustainability of the shared fish stocks. It is in our joint interest to uphold it until a new long-term framework is in place. We are convinced that we can continue to share fish, fishing grounds and markets after Brexit, to the benefit of all”.

About the European Fisheries Alliance

The European Fisheries Alliance is a coalition of European fishing fleets directly impacted by Brexit. Our current members include fishermen 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 20

2019-09-25T18:24:47+00:00 September 25th, 2019|