The European Council approves the Brexit contingency plan

The European Council approves the Brexit contingency plan. Photo: Oliver McBride

The European Council has voted to approve the Brexit contingency plan produced by the European Commission last week.

The European Commission put forward a set of targeted contingency measures ensuring basic reciprocal air and road connectivity between the EU and the UK, as well as allowing for the possibility of reciprocal fishing access by EU and UK vessels to each other’s waters.

To make it possible that EU and UK fishing vessels continue to have access to each other’s waters as of 1st January 2021, the Council adopted yesterday its position on an EU regulation for access possibilities until an EU-UK fisheries agreement is concluded or until the end of 2021, whichever comes first. This regulation creates a legal framework for EU and UK fishermen on how to grant them authorisations to continue fishing in UK and EU waters respectively after the end of the transition period (31st December 2020). As a contingency measure, in the case of a no-deal, these authorisations could apply as of 1st January 2021 until 31st December 2021 (or earlier, when an EU-UK fisheries agreement is concluded). The regulation would contribute to the economic stability and livelihood of fishing communities and to the continuation of sustainable fishing until a permanent EU-UK agreement.

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As a case of urgency, the process of adopting this regulation is fast-tracked; following the Council’s adoption of the mandate, the proposal will now be voted by the European Parliament later this week. The Council and the European Parliament are working closely to ensure that the regulation is adopted before the end of the year and enters into application on 1 January 2021.

Regarding fishing opportunities and quotas co-managed by the EU and the UK, these are envisaged on a preliminary and limited manner through a separate EU regulation, in consultation with the UK and until a final agreement is reached.

Source: Press Release

Brian J McMullin Solicitors
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