Impact of UK-EU Trade Agreement on Jersey fisheries to be scrutinised
13th January 2021
A review of how the UK-EU Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (‘TECA’) will impact Jersey’s territorial waters and fisheries has been launched by Scrutiny’s Environment, Housing and Infrastructure (EHI) Panel.
The proposition to include Jersey in the UK-EU agreement was passed by the States Assembly on 27 December 2020. This Panel’s review will focus specifically on how the relationship between Jersey and the European Union will be governed in relation to “the exploitation of maritime resources in Jersey’s territorial waters.” All other aspects of the TECA will be scrutinised by the Brexit Review Panel’s separate review.
Following a series of amendments to the original proposition, lodged by the Minister for External Relations, the EHI Panel is now required to present a report to the States Assembly before the end of the 90-day “cooling off period”, after which the new terms of Jersey’s trading activities with the UK and the EU will be legally binding.
The purpose of the review is to examine whether:
The full legal text of the agreement reflects the summary agreement; and
The agreement is in Jersey’s best interests in terms of fisheries.
The review will explore the practical implications of ceasing joint management with France of the cultivation and use of Jersey’s waters for fishing, as well as scrutinising the new mode of licensing of French fishing vessels, set out in the draft Sea Fisheries Regulations. The review will also consider changes to processes and procedures in the fishing industry and whether sufficient infrastructure is in place to source new markets for Jersey caught fish.
The Panel will be contacting various stakeholders across the fishing industry to seek their views, as well as obtaining legal advice on the detail of the agreement. The Panel will also hold public hearings with the Minister for External Relations, the Minister for the Environment and industry representatives. The Panel will publish its report, including any findings and recommendations, before the expiry of the 90-day ‘cooling off’ period on 31 March 2021.
The Chair of the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Panel, Constable Mike Jackson, commented, “Jersey’s new relationship with the EU post-Brexit is likely to have a profound impact on the management of our territorial waters and the fishing industry in general. It’s important that the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement is fully scrutinised in order to ascertain how, and to what extent, this impact will be felt, to draw any possible implications to light and to keep Jersey’s best interests in mind.”
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