EU: Bocquet on ‘realignment mechanisms’ in fishing waters
An Irish-registered vessel was spotted fishing between the six- and 12-mile mile limit at Rockall, according to the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association (SWFPA). While the UK claims the uninhabitable islet is part of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the Irish disagree.
Mike Park, chief executive of the SWFPA, said the action over the weekend constitutes a breach of international fishing regulations.
He claimed the presence of the Irish boat in the zone amounted to IUU (illegal, unregulated and unreported) fishing.
He stressed that Rockall is not included in the areas which foreign skippers are allowed to fish in under the post-Brexit arangement with the EU.
Mr Park told the Fishing Daily: “We are aware that there are Southern Irish vessels operating within the 12-mile limit at Rockall.
A Scottish fishing chief has issued a warning to Ireland after one of its boats fished ‘illegally’
“Clearly this is in breach of the law as well, and they are basically conducting IUU operations in terms of fishing.
“With the Brexit negotiations, there were certain areas where the EU vessels were allowed to fish between the six-and 12-mile limit, but Rockall is not one of them.”
He said the fishing industry in Scotland does not want to see EU fishermen being fined for breaching law.
He said they should simply respect post-Brexit fishing rules and avoid breaching any parts of the UK-EU deal.
Scottish fishermen said they saw an Irish boat fishing illegally in UK waters over the weekend
He added: “We don’t want to see fishermen falling foul of the law. We don’t want them being arrested and we don’t want them being fined.
“We just want them to apply the law as it stands.”
Mr Park’s warning came after a group of Scottish fishing chiefs accused Danish fishermen of ignoring conservation rules and fishing illegally off the Shetland Islands.
It is alleged that up to Danish multi-rig trawlers are using quad-rigs which are banned by the Scottish Government in the Fladen prawn grounds near the isles.
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Spanish lorry drivers are now suffering more under EU bureaucratic controls than their British counterparts, a haulier organisation has claimed.
The Valencian Federation of Road Haulers has hit out at the EU’s rigorous controls, especially those imposed in France.
The federation said: “France wants to make emphasis on the fact that the UK has left the EU, and therefore things cannot continue the same.”
The organisation stated that after three months of Brexit, lorry drivers from Spain are suffering more with European controls than British controls.
Melanie Kaidan takes over live reporting from Laura O’Callaghan.
More than 7,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccines were secretly flown from Britain to Australia, according to reports, while not a single jab was exported Down Under from the EU.
The huge batches of the shots were despatched after the EU imposed new limits on exports of Covid vaccines produced on the continent.
The bloc continues to grapple with a chronic shortage of vaccines and blighted by slow inoculation programmes.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, 717,000 AstraZeneca jabs arrived in Australia after the operation was conducted under the radar.
Shocking footage shows a Northern Ireland bus engulfed in flames as youths were seen throwing petrol bombs into the vehicle in broad daylight.
Footage uploaded on social media showed a gang of hooded youths surrounding a bus as one of the protesters throws a petrol bomb through the window.
Police sirens are heard in the background as rioters continue to wreak havoc in Northern Ireland over unresolved border issues from Brexit and a lack of arrests at a large Republican funeral.
The bus was later seen on drone footage as completely engulfed in flames as emergency services cleared the streets.
Violence has erupted in Northern Ireland over an unresolved Brexit border issue
Angela Merkel’s authority has been pushed aside by the leader of Bavaria who skirted around the German leader and the EU to sign a contract with the Russians for Covid vaccines.
Markus Söder, the state’s minister-president, took decisive action as criticism of Brussels’ handling of the vaccine rollout continues.
On Wednesday he signed a preliminary contract for the delivery of Sputnik V jabs, which will kick in once the Russian-made shot is approved by the European drug regulator.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is in the process of examining the application for approval of the Sputnik jab.
7.05pm update: Poll shows rise in suport for Brexit
Support for Brexit has risen amid the EU’s vaccine crisis, new research has shown.
In a YouGov poll, 46 percent said Britain was right to leave the bloc, a rise of two points compared to a similar survey conducted recently.
The research was carried out from March 31 to April 1 and compared to data collected from March 25-26.
A total of 1,736 British adults took part.
More than 60,000 people have signed a petition calling for an end to “paid politics” in Germany, which campaigners say flourished during Angela Merkel’s 16 years in office.
As the Chancellor prepares to pass the baton on later this year, her final months look to be some of her most challenging yet amid growing discontent among Germans.
The Youth Council of the Generations Foundation has hit out at Mrs Merkel for allowing a system of political lobbying completely lacking in transparency to fester.
5.43pm update: NI Protocol blasted as ‘totally disproportionate’
Northern Ireland’s First Minister has called for the current post-Brexit trading arrangements to be replaced with something “realistic and sustainable”.
Arlene Foster said the Northern Ireland Protocol has led to a “completely disproportionate situation” where trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been “severely disrupted”.
EU rules are applied at the region’s ports as part of the deal which was negotiated to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland as the Republic remains within the bloc.
A number of legal challenges are being launched against the protocol.
Speaking at an In Conversation online event with Institute of Economic Affairs director general Mark Littlewood on Wednesday, Mrs Foster said the DUP warned about the impact of the protocol “right from its inception”.
Scottish fishing chiefs wrote to Danish counterparts
A British expat has slammed Spain’s failure to extend residency to residents now faced with having to return to the UK amid a post-Brexit shake-up for visa requirements.
Expats living unregistered in Spain may now have to return to the UK or risk falling foul of the new measures.
British pensioners have begun voicing their opposition to the 90-day maximum stay requirements which the Spanish Government has vowed to enforce.
One British national told CGTN Europe: “Fifty percent where I live are having to stay for 30-days and then have to go home.
“Half of them ain’t got nowhere to go, they have sold the house, they don’t even have family back home to stay with.
“You know this 90-day thing is just crimping everybody, instead of making it 180 and 90 which is what everybody would agree with and think it would be brilliant to do.”
Frexit campaigner Florian Philippot shamed Brussels’ devastating impact on France’s rate for standard of living, as he called for the country to leave the bloc as soon as possible.
In a savage attack on the European Union project, the leader of Les Patriotes blamed Brussels for France‘s catastrophic decline for standard of living.
Mr Philippot argued it was because of France’s membership to the bloc that the country has fallen from 5th place to 26th in just 46 years.
He blasted: “In 1975, France: 5th in the world for the standard of living per capita. Today: 26th row.
“But there are still ideologues to tell us that the EU and the euro are extraordinary successes!
“Frexit, independence, freedom, power, fast!”
Post-Brexit fishing is back in the spotlight after Scotland issued a warning to Ireland
Ursula von der Leyen will seek to reaffirm her status as the EU’s joint top official after she was left without a chair during a meeting in Turkey.
The European Commission President was left standing during a meeting between her Council counterpart Charles Michel and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The EU’s executive will now open their talks with the bloc’s other top eurocrat to ensure she never falls victim to grandstanding again.
Mrs von der Leyen’s spokesman said: “The President expects the institution she represents be treated according to the appropriate protocol.
1:30pm update: NI leader calls for unity after Brexit related NI protests
The leader of the Alliance Party has urged parties to unite around a call for calm following several nights of disorder across Northern Ireland.
The Stormont Assembly is set to be recalled on Thursday to discuss the recent scenes of violence in mainly loyalist areas.
Some 41 police officers have been injured and 10 people arrested in the disturbances.
Naomi Long secured the required support of 30 Assembly members to force a return to debate a motion condemning the recent attacks on police.
The violence has been blamed on anger in response to a decision by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) not to pursue prosecutions against members of Sinn Fein who attended the funeral of Bobby Storey last year despite restrictions over gatherings, as well as Brexit and localised issues in the south east Antrim area.
European regional leaders are growing impatient with the EU’s vaccine procurement strategy and its delays, resorting to backdoor deals with Russia for the Sputnik V jab.
Last month, regional governors in Italy signed pre-approval contracts with the Russian vaccine producers in a bid to secure more jabs for their residents as the EU Commission continues to lag behind on deliveries. Now the president of the Madrid region, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, revealed she has been in talks with Sputnik V producers since the beginning of the year.
In the latest sign of dismay against the bloc’s vaccine rollout failures, the Spanish politician admitted she went behind her Government’s back in order to secure more vaccinations outside of the EU rollout.
European dependence on fishing on British waters
11:15am update: Macron plan raises eyebrows with Merkel
Emmanuel Macron’s ambition for more strategic autonomy in the EU is raising eyebrows in Berlin, with Angela Merkel suspecting the French leader wants to replace the UK at the top seat of the bloc’s table.
The French President has longed for more military autonomy for the bloc since his ascent to power in 2017.
Mr Macron’s vision is for the EU to have a clear defence identity within NATO, pushing for greater European military spending.
Australia has accused the European Union of plunging its vaccine rollout into crisis after threatening to block shipments abroad.
Prime minister Scott Morrison said the European Commission wasn’t directly to blame for a 3.1 million shortfall in his country’s supply of the AstraZeneca jab.
But a government spokesman went further, insisting the doses would’ve arrived if it wasn’t for Brussels’ ban on the export of the life-saving medical supplies.
Danish fishing chiefs in Jutland
9:30am update: Scotland’s University Union pledges support for Erasmus
The University and College Union (UCU) have pledged to find ways to allow Scotland to continue its association with the EU’s Erasmus+ education programme.
The idea received overwhelming support during the University and College Union’s recent Congress in the form of a motion.
It comes amid fears that the Turing Scheme, Britain’s post-Brexit replacement, does not offer the same benefits, particularly in the area of reciprocity and helping students from other countries to come here.
Dominic Raab failed to make any progress during Brexit negotiations with the EU before he headed back to London, a Whitehall source has claimed.
Former Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan has written in his memoirs of UK Foreign Secretary Mr Raab’s failure in negotiations with his EU counterparts, when Mr Raab was the UK’s Brexit Secretary.
He described the bleak state of negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU in the autumn of 2018 as “the whole ship taking in water”.
8am update: Labour questions benefits of joining CPTPP trade partnership
Labour has written to the International Trade Secretary with more than 230 questions about the implications of the UK joining a mammoth free trade pact which includes Australia, Canada and Japan.
Shadow international trade secretary Emily Thornberry urged Liz Truss to reopen the public consultation on the UK joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Negotiations are expected to start later this year under the Government’s post-Brexit plans, and joining the CPTPP will cut tariffs in trading with its 11 members, which also include Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore.