UK Parliament votes against the Brexit deal – EUFA very concerned about a possible “Hard Brexit“

Press release: 

UK Parliament votes against the Brexit deal

EUFA very concerned about a possible “Hard Brexit“


Brussels, 16 January 2019

The European Fisheries Alliance (EUFA) takes note of yesterday’s vote in the House of Commons. While a managed exit and a mutually beneficial fisheries and trade agreement remain EUFA’s objective, yesterday’s vote is a backwards step, although not unexpected, and the ensuing political uncertainty are of concern to the European fishing fleet. While the vote brings a hard Brexit into sharp focus EUFA still sees that there is a majority in the UK Parliament against a no-deal situation and EUFA therefore calls on all parties to avoid such a scenario.

Fish, by nature, is a shared, finite and fragile natural resource. We are convinced that our British colleagues, as well as the UK and EU leaders share our aim to preserve sustainable fish stocks and the long-term viability of the industry as a whole. Many local communities across the UK and EU are highly dependent on fisheries and securing their future should be the shared goals of decision makers on both sides of the negotiation table.

A no-deal situation will have grave effects on the seafood industry in the United Kingdom and the European Union. The European Fisheries Alliance calls upon the European Commission and the Member States to adequately prepare for all scenarios including putting a suite of mitigation measures in place in the event of a hard Brexit, aimed at our fleets, our fishing communities and our value chain.

We further hope that following yesterday’s rejection of the Brexit deal by the UK Parliament both sides are able and willing to turn their attention to developing and agreeing on a future and comprehensive bilateral fisheries and trade agreement on the basis of the agreement reached between EU and UK negotiators in November 2018.

EUFA Chairman Gerard van Balsfoort stated that:

“Despite UK Parliament’s clear rejection of the Brexit agreement proposed by PM Theresa May we believe strongly in a negotiated deal between the UK and EU-27 that fully reflects the fisheries elements in both the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration. We stand ready to do our part and to contribute to such a negotiated deal. The relationship with our UK colleagues has always been grounded in reciprocity, understanding and reasoned discussion and we are confident that this will continue after Brexit.”

He further added:

“A mutually beneficial trade and fisheries agreement in the context of the overall economic partnership between the EU and the UK remains our key outcome. However, in light of the grave consequences of a no-deal exit of the UK we call upon the European Commission and the Member States to prepare mitigating measures to protect EU fishermen and their communities.”

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

2019-01-16T17:19:19+00:00 January 16th, 2019|