Anifpo Chief, Alan McCulla claims as he feared, Westminster has plundered the Northern Ireland fishing industry’s Brexit dividend
CEO of Northern Ireland based Anifpo, Alan McCulla has hit out at the UK Government’s distribution of additional quota to the UK fleet resulting from the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Instead of getting the £20m-a-year worth of additional quota they believed they were due, Northern Ireland fishing will now receive on £14m.
Last week Mr McCulla warned that the UK Government was intending to give the bulk of the additional quota to the Scottish fishing industry in a bid to stave off a second independence referendum in the country and he had feared that the Northern Ireland fishing community would only get have of the estimated £20m of quota due to them.
On the news of the additional quota distribution Mr McCulla said:
“As feared, Westminster has plundered the Northern Ireland fishing industry’s Brexit dividend.
“In an announcement today, the Westminster Government confirmed that Northern Ireland did in fact have something they wanted; additional fishing quota gained from the EU following the UK’s departure from the EU.
“For the past 5 months fishing industry representatives here have pursued a fair and reasonable approach to this issue, calling on London to apportion the new quota across the UK on the basis of a pre-existing quota sharing arrangement. Northern Ireland’s share of pre-Brexit UK quotas is 9% and the local industry had simply asked for 9% of the new quota, which the industry here had valued at almost £20 million per annum. However, even a 9% share of the new quota proved irresistible to Westminster and today London confirmed they would reduce that share by almost one third.
“The London Government’s spin that the Brexit fisheries boost is distributed across the UK maybe true, but the fact is that distribution has been rigged to favour some areas more than others. The Conservative Party’s 2019 Manifesto promised a full Brexit dividend for Northern Ireland. Actions clearly speak louder than words and the Government has failed to deliver on that commitment.”
by Oliver McBride