Brexit and Northern Ireland: fisheries Contents

Annex 1: Timeline for the Government to act on the Committee’s recommendations



By end of November 2018

We have requested that the Government provide the following information within its response:

[Recommendation 31] The Government should set out its projections for how quota allocation based on zonal attachment will differ from that of relative stability for the Northern Ireland fleet and the criteria that will be used to determine access by foreign vessels to UK waters after Brexit.

[Recommendation 47] The Government should set out which rules pertaining to fisheries trade will be included within the common rulebook which will form part of the future UK-EU agreement.

[Recommendation 57] The Government should provide details of DEFRA’s timetable for delivering a new IT system capable of providing catch certificate for Northern Ireland’s fisheries trade with the EU, in the event of a no deal scenario.

[Recommendation 62] The Government should publish its assessment of the naval capacity required to police the UK’s EEZ after the UK leaves the EU and provide details on the amount of funding and number of ships available to the Joint Maritime Operations Coordination Centre to prevent illegal fishing in UK waters.

[Recommendation 82] The Government should confirm that it has organised talks with the Irish Government to establish the future of reciprocal access for Northern Irish vessels under the Voisinage Arrangement.

[Recommendation 147] The Government should provide details on what steps it has taken to secure a Non-Detriment Finding under CITES for the European Eel.

In the Fisheries Bill, expected to be introduced to Parliament in the Autumn of 2018

[Recommendation 118] The Government should commit to continued funding for the fisheries industry and set out funding priorities which are based on experience of successful investments under EMFF such as harbour infrastructure and safety measures.

[Recommendation 138] The Government should make a clear commitment to invest in infrastructure at Northern Ireland’s ports to ensure fishermen can bring home the benefits of renegotiated quota to their local communities.

[Recommendation 147] The Government should clarify whether it intends to continue financial support for the restocking of eels into Lough Neagh.

By the end of December 2018

In the event the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly remain suspended, and in light of the Court decision on the limit of civil service decision-making powers in Northern Ireland, we recommend:

[Recommendation 100] The Government establish a new mechanism to ensure regulatory decisions proposed by the Loughs Agency and approved by the North South Ministerial Council can be implemented.

[Recommendation 111] The Government should set out, in legislation proposed for October 2018, how decisions will be made on post-Brexit fisheries policy, including the future quota allocation system, for Northern Ireland. Any decisions should be amendable by a future Northern Ireland Executive, once it is established.

[Recommendation 139] The Government should create a new mechanism to enable decisions on infrastructure investment at Kilkeel to be taken.

By 29 March 2019

Six months after publication of this report, and ahead of 29 March 2019:

[Recommendation 75] The Government must clarify, in the Withdrawal Agreement or accompanying documentation, the following:

How the UK will be able to influence the Fisheries Advisory Councils, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Expert Group and the Science, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries during the implementation period;

How the UK’s right to consultation will operate in practice; and

What action the UK can take if it believes the EU is not acting in good faith.

[Recommendation 82] If the Irish Government has not given a clear commitment to pass legislation which restores reciprocal access under the Voisinage Arrangement, the Government must discontinue access to UK waters for Irish vessels from 30 March 2019.

[Recommendation 130] The Government should grant a time-limited immigration concession for non-EU/EEA fishing crew, as it did in March 2010, to help sustain and develop the fishing industry in Northern Ireland.

By September 2019

Within 1 year of publication of this report:

[Recommendation 89] The Government should conclude a management agreement with the Irish Government that enables the Lough’s Agency to fully implement the 2007 Foyle and Carlingford Fisheries Order. The Lough’s Agency should be given the extra resources necessary to remove existing unlicensed oyster trestles.

[Recommendation 130] The Government should create a bespoke visa for fishermen which allows crewing of boats by EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA workers from the 6-nautical mile limit in recognition of the topography of the coast lines surrounding Northern Ireland.

Published: 15 September 2018