EU crisis: Irish ex-diplomat admits harassing Dublin – “I wouldn’t do that to France” Politics | New
Micheal Martin defends Macron for a “ almost ineffective ” comment
And Ray Bassett said the bloc’s attitude was a sign of a ‘cold indifference’ that illustrates how far Dublin’s peripheral interests have become in the wake of Brexit. Mr Bassett, Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, was speaking after the chief executive of the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association condemned a move to suspend rules that previously allowed fishermen Irishmen to weigh their catches outside the ports.
Mr Byrne asked Brussels to present him with evidence of rule violations he said he discovered involving underreporting of catches, while calling on Charlie McConalogue, the Irish Minister for the Navy, to defend the industry .
However, Mr Bassett, one of Ireland’s leading Eurosceptics and defender of a so-called Irexit, has hinted that a tough Dublin stand is unlikely.
He told Express.co.uk: “The sanction that the European Commission has imposed on the Irish fishing fleet is just the latest step to undermine the industry.
“It is absolutely scandalous that they have imposed this draconian measure without in any way describing the detailed charges or giving examples of alleged illegalities.
Emmanuel Macron’s France would never be treated this way, said Bassett
Micheal Martin and Emmanuel Macron in Brussels last year
“The real crime here is the expropriation of most of Ireland’s fishery resources by Brussels, then their cession to Spanish, French, Dutch, etc. interests.
“Ireland is estimated to have lost hundreds of millions of euros in catches and processing downstream from the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
“No wonder Euroscepticism is strong among Irish fishermen.”
Mr Bassett raised concerns about his country’s treatment by Brussels in last year’s book Ireland and the EU after Brexit, and he suggested that the European Commission, led by the President Ursula von der Leyen, was guilty of double weight.
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Micheal Martin, Taoiseach from Ireland
He explained: “Brussels would not dare to take similar measures against the French or the Spaniards.
“They know that the current Irish government lacks the political will to oppose Brussels, even when the EU has clearly acted against Ireland’s interests.”
As for Mr McConalogue himself, he said: “I have no doubt that Fisheries Minister Charlie McConalogue would like to take a stand in Brussels on this issue on behalf of his constituents in Donegal.
“But he knows he would get little support in government.
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Charlie McConalogue was effectively powerless to act, Mr Bassett said
Fishing boats moored in Cork
“The civil service, in particular the Taoiseach Micheal Martin and the foreign affairs departments, would suffer apoplexy from any display of independent thought.
“The minister is trapped in a system where he would have to be very strong to overcome institutional group thinking about Europe.
“It would jeopardize the career in the current government.
“The post-Brexit period for Ireland in the EU has been characterized by a cold indifference to Irish interests in Brussels.
European fisheries mapped
“Ireland has become very peripheral to those who wield power in the EU.”
Mr Byrne told Tom McSweeney on his Maritime Ireland radio show on RTE: “The Irish industry had no visibility on the body of evidence against it which led to this draconian decision.
“We are working completely blind.
“The Commission made this decision and obviously there is information in it, but none of us have seen it.
An Irish fishing boat off Wexford
“It has had a devastating effect on the fishing industry.
“We need more visibility, because this will have an impact at all levels, in all sectors of the fishery over the next two years.
“No one knows what we are accused of.
“We can defend our record on our plan, digitally and solidly, and we will. But let’s see the charges against us.