Galician fishing and Brexit: time to end the “spoiled children”

The negotiations have ended and, although it is true that Spain may not have (for the moment) been excessively harmed in terms of fishing, there are five years ahead to think very well what to do, because we will have to rethink what it is. necessary for Europe to remain a fishing power. And I say well Europe, because the solution for Spanish fishing necessarily involves a European solution and solidarity with the most affected northern countries, solidarity that by the way has been scarce with Spain in the most delicate moments. But even so, a concerted solution to all European fishing is the most sensible thing to do. The solution depends above all on strengthening the CFP in terms of international law, because we must not forget that the foundation of the European Union is respect for Community and international law. First of all, we must end the preferential treatment of the EU’s spoiled children when it comes to fishing: specifically Norway, Iceland, Greenland and, perhaps after the five transitional years, the UK itself. It is unacceptable that there is no freedom of movement of capital in these countries and, instead, they have full access to investment in the EU. The same is true for Iceland and Greenland.

It is unacceptable that Norway continues to believe that it can do whatever it wants in the Svalbard fisheries: the absurd EU system of petty self-restraints in those waters must be put to an end in order not to anger Norwegians. Enough with that tolerance for those countries that have been allowed to hunt whales, deplete krill from Antarctica – which is the food of the blue whale – and have the European market at their full disposal and the freedom to invest in it. they want while denying the same right to Europeans. As for Svalbard, let us make our own the phrase of Francis I of France and demand “to see the testament of Adam”, and the Norwegians will see that the transfer of sovereignty to that country does not appear there, but is the product of the Country Treaty of 1921, that they have to respect fully and scrupulously. Neither is the islet of Jan Mayen entitled to the two hundred miles, and a long etcetera.

You have to tell those countries, and certainly the UK in five years’ time, that it’s over; that the EU owns its market and supplies itself from where it deems most convenient: freedom for freedom and access to water for access to markets and that for all those countries. There are plenty of countries to supply fish to the Union, and among them those that have treated Spain with the most intelligence and generosity, such as Namibia, Argentina, Mozambique, Angola and a long etcetera. These policies must be thoroughly reviewed and a loud and clear message must be given that the European fishing market is only open to those countries that offer full reciprocity, commitment to the IUU fight, respect for trade freedom in reciprocal terms and respect for Level Playing Field precisely defining what this concept entails in fishing. The policy of joint ventures with third countries must be revalued as a policy that ensures supplies to the Union and provides them with fair and sustainable development.

Finally, we must pamper Ireland in solidarity and with the maximum possible generosity, trying to stimulate trade from that country to Spain, strengthening all kinds of links including regular maritime communications with Spain and Vigo in particular, alleviating its dependence on the United Kingdom. . Ultimately, the European Union must leave mixed attitudes in its Common Fisheries Policy and review its concepts from keel to knob in the next five years by punching the table to make things clear to those spoiled children.

* Exconselleiro de Pesca

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