A former Irish diplomat alleged to Express.co.uk that behind closed doors the Government of Ireland is “privately very worried’ by the EU stance on fishing rights. Ray Bassett has spoken out to say that while Dublin pubically backs the European Union and France in their dispute with the UK of fisheries in the Channel, Ireland got a “very bad deal” from the EU’s Michel Barnier during the Brexit negotiations.
Mr Bassett told Express.co.uk: “Officially Ireland will back the European Union in France.
“But privately they will be very worried about what’s happening from a few points of view.
“One on the fishing dispute, Ireland got a very bad deal from Barnier during his negotiations where he started…and I see the Dutch are also complaining that he sort to protect the French interests in terms of British waters.
“And the Irish got the biggest cuts of anybody in British water.”
He continued: “So there’s a degree that we had to stand with the European Union at that stage because we were quite vulnerable and we needed the European Union particularly in relation to the Irish border.
“But also, you know, privately there will be an awful lot of sympathy for the British on fisheries because we’re in a similar position.
“We have very large fishing grounds and whereas the European Union, is to allocate 40 percent of the fish in British waters to the UK.
“Here in Ireland rights where we have very extensive waters, we’re gonna get 15 percent it was partly compensated by the European Union giving us some fishing rights in UK waters.”
Mr Bassett added: “So some of them have been revoked.
“But we still have a situation in our waters where we only have 15 percent.
“So they’re privately they’ll be feeling that you know, as a coastal state, we believe much more than coastal states should have a much bigger say and percentage of fish in their own waters.”
It comes as the UK’s Brexit negotiator Lord Frost declined to share London’s “detailed negotiating position” in the ongoing talks with the EU.
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But he admitted the question of how goods move from Great Britain and Northern Ireland as “at the heart of it”.
“We have said that we don’t see any reason why goods that everyone acknowledges are going to stay in Northern Ireland need to go through processes,” Lord Frost said.
“Obviously if they go on into Ireland we have said that we will police them in accordance with EU law, that’s perfectly reasonable, but goods staying in Northern Ireland - why do they need to go through a customs check?”
Lord Frost said there remains a “gap” between the UK and EU positions.”