Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson met with Defra Minister George Eustice MP in Brussels this week to discuss Northern Ireland priorities ahead of the forthcoming December Fisheries Council.
Mr Nicholson commented: “The December Fisheries Council is crucially important for our fishermen and processors as it is these annual negotiations which decide the fishing opportunities for the coming year.
“As the UK’s Fisheries Minister Mr Eustice is directly involved in these key negotiations, it was therefore very useful to discuss local priorities with him ahead of the Council.
“The European Commission has once again proposed cuts to next year’s quota for several stocks. I highlighted the impact these cuts could have on the Northern Ireland fisheries industry to the minister and emphasised the need to secure a favourable outcome for our fishermen especially as the industry locally has led the way in working proactively to adapt to the many challenges and difficulties presented by reforms in the EU’s fisheries policy.
“We also discussed the situation in the dairy sector and challenges being encountered as the reformed CAP is implemented – in my view the UK government must up its game when it comes to demanding that the Commission cuts red tape and simplifies the greening measures.”