Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has given a cautious welcome to the latest remarks from the British Environment Minister Michael Gove but warned that the move exposed Britain’s “erratic and directionless approach” to Brexit.
The Ireland South MEP, who sits on the EU Fisheries Committee, was speaking in response to comments from Michael Gove in which he said EU vessels would still be able to operate in British waters post Brexit.
“Fisheries is one of the main concerns for Ireland post-Brexit and while I welcome Mr Gove’s comments on allowing EU vessels to use British waters post-Brexit they are sure to cause as much confusion as relief,” she said.
“It was only last month he claimed Britain was ‘taking back control of its waters’ when he announced they would be pulling out of the London Fisheries Convention.
“He further claimed that the convention was a threat to sustainable stocks in British waters.
“Now he is saying EU boats will be welcome in British waters because Britain doesn’t have the capacity to catch and process its stocks alone, a point I have made numerous times.
“While the remarks, if indeed they are last word on the issue, are to be welcomed, this is typical of the erratic and directionless approach to Brexit from the British Government.
“There has been no detail given; no word on which countries will be allowed where, much less what quotas they will be offered and, as we have come to expect, absolutely nothing on how it will effect Irish fishing vessels north and south, so it is a very cautious welcome I give his comments.
“The fishing industry, here more than anywhere, needs certainty. It needs to know what is coming down the line so that it can prepare for it. It does not need weekly flip-flopping from the British Government on key issues.”