“Pleasant and productive.” This is how the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, and the president of the Xunta, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, have agreed to summarize the meeting held by both and their respective teams at the Galician Administration offices in Santiago.
After this meeting, which revolved around politics and community funds, the two leaders jointly appeared at a press conference in which the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union and its consequences on fishing was the main reason for disagreement .
And is that, after the harsh criticism in recent weeks by the Xunta towards the Brexit agreement, Planas claimed that the negotiation led by the Commission,
but in which he participated along with seven other ministers, it was “complex” and “hard.”
Concern in the sector
In his words, his Ministry tried to “limit the impact” to the “presence” of the Spanish fleet in British waters. Thus, although he admitted that the sector is “concerned” about their present and future after the agreement, he considered “very significant” the fact that tariffs have been eliminated in the introduction of UK products to the Community market.
However, Feijóo did not hesitate to dismiss the Brexit pact as “worrying” and to highlight the “good negotiation” that the British managed to conclude: “Fishing has been the last part of the divorce and when something is left for last it is because one part has a lot of interest in that ”.
In fact, the agreement to exit the European Union gives the United Kingdom 25% of the fishing quotas, which must be negotiated in 2026, in addition to the introduction of its products on the Community market without tariffs.
In this regard, said the president of the Xunta, the minister said in his meeting: “Hey, it could be worse.” “It’s true, it can be worse, without a doubt,” Feijóo acknowledged, although he did not hide his dissatisfaction with the outcome of the negotiations.
Not in vain, the Xunta will seek to “know the fine print” and plans to prepare two reports, relative to the impact it will have on the extractive activity and the legal situations of the sector, to send them not only to the Ministry, but also to the Commission and the European Parliament.
After reminding the minister of the consequences of Spain’s entry into the Union in 1986, the Galician president thanked him that in the remaining negotiations both with the United Kingdom and within the EU, he has Galicia as a consultant, ” and if possible, as an advisor ”. “Because we play a lot of things and we have a very powerful fishing capacity,” he said.
Luis Planas, for his part, expressed his conviction that the fishing sector in Spain and Galicia “have a present and a future” despite Brexit, which was an “institutional, economically and politically traumatic” process of which there is still a lot ahead “.