Wales and the UK-EU Trade & Cooperation Agreement: Fisheries

Published 25/01/2022   |   Reading Time minutes

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) sets up the new UK-EU relationship following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Our new UK-EU series summarises key parts of the agreement and what they mean for Wales.

This guide explains the new fisheries arrangements, which are summarised below.

Annual negotiations

The TCA moves UK-EU fisheries negotiations to an annual cycle and sets up a new timetable of important dates throughout the year.

Provisional arrangements in the event of no agreement

If the UK and EU can’t agree arrangements for the following year by 20 December each year, provisional arrangements will apply from 1 January. These differ from agreed arrangements.

Time periods

The TCA divides the new UK-EU fisheries arrangements into two time periods: before and after 30 June 2026. An ‘adjustment period’ is established from 1 January 2021 until 30 June 2026, during which part of the EU’s quota share will be transferred to the UK. From 1 July 2026, UK-EU fishing opportunities and access to waters must be negotiated every year for the following year.

Additional areas of agreement

The UK and EU made a number of other commitments in the TCA of relevance to fisheries. These are varied and important aspects of UK-EU fisheries arrangements which the Welsh Government must follow.

Governance and oversight

They also agreed to establish new joint governance mechanisms to oversee their new arrangements. Fisheries arrangements will be overseen by a joint Specialised Committee on Fisheries. It will oversee mechanisms for UK-EU fisheries disputes, review processes and the option to terminate the new arrangements.

Article by Sara Moran, Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament