Article 50, triggering Brexit, coming in early 2017, SFF’s Armstrong says
The United Kingdom will likely invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in the early part of 2017, according to the executive director of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.
Article 50 is the legal clause that, when triggered, will result in the United Kingdom's exit the European Union.
The SFF’s Bertie Armstrong made the comments in a 20 September SeafoodSource webinar covering Brexit, the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, made via a referendum that took place in June.
“The tips, hints and rumors, which will be denied by everybody, is that Article 50 will get called early in the new year,” Armstrong said during the webinar, “The good, the bad and the ugly: Brexit and the future of the U.K.’s fisheries.”
In the webinar, Armstrong also discussed the framework for negotiation between the U.K. and E.U. over access rights to the U.K.’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), potential impact on U.K. seafood imports and exports and catch quotas.
“The mindset we have had here in the U.K., particularly those in fisheries, dealing with the common fisheries problem, is that the E.U. is monumentally difficult and complex and really rather distant,” Armstrong said. “It’s almost as if the leg irons and shackles have been taken off now.”
Armstrong recently had separate meetings with the U.K. Minister of State for Brexit David Jones, U.K. Fisheries Minister George Eustice, Scottish Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing and Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell to discuss the impact of Brexit on Scotland’s fisheries.
“They’re all listening and nodding and nobody’s promising anything, so all is yet to play for, but we’re very aware we need to get our arguments in very early, before people achieve a mind-set that [exclusive access to the U.K.’s EEZ] might be something that’s traded away,” Armstrong said.
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