CPMR: Brexit could have 'disproportionate' impact on Europe’s regions
The EU has been warned that Brexit could have a disproportionate impact on Europe’s regions.
Brexit | Photo credit: Press Association
Leaders from some of the continent’s outermost regions have now called for financial help to “mitigate the territorial impacts of Brexit.”
They voiced fears after a meeting with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, at the European Commission in Brussels on Monday.
The delegation was organised by the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions (CPMR) and the Atlantic Arc Commission.
A CPMR spokesperson later said the delegation had “stressed regions’ fears that Brexit, and particularly a hard Brexit, will have harmful consequences for their territories.”
The group also emphasised “the importance of continued cooperation between European and UK regions post-Brexit,” he said.
The delegation consisted of Vasco Cordeiro, CPMR President and also president of the government of the Azores, and three representatives of the Pays de la Loire region in France, Christelle Morançais, Bruno Retailleau and Vanessa Charbonneau.
The CPMR spokesperson told this website that the delegation had highlighted to Barnier the importance of an agreement in the final Brexit bill between the UK and the EU on the “shared management” of the fisheries sector, especially in the Atlantic, Channel and North Sea areas.
He said, “This sector is at risk of social, economic and ecological damage if it is not managed effectively.”
Barnier was also told that decisions taken during the Brexit negotiations will have a “direct impact” on the ports and shipping lines of the Atlantic Arc, which could have “consequences” for the tourism and trade sectors in all European regions.
The CPMR spokesperson added, “The delegation proposed the implementation of a budgetary mechanism for the EU27 to mitigate the territorial impacts of Brexit in the regions.”
At the meeting, the CPMR representatives also underlined the importance of territorial cooperation programmes and macro-regional strategies - “to date have been absent from the negotiations” - as a means for the UK and Europe to continue to work together.
Afterwards, Cordeiro described the meeting as “positive”, adding, “it gave us the opportunity to present our proposals, supported by our UK member regions, to mitigate Brexit’s impact on Europe’s regions.”
He went on, “We also stressed that regions have the expertise to make a constructive contribution to the Brexit negotiations.”
“The UK has outlined the importance of continued cooperation through research, innovation, and training. They must now show that territorial cooperation is high on their agenda in the Brexit negotiations.”
Concerning the fishing industry, Retailleau, a regional councillor in Pays de la Loire, said, “The renationalisation of the UK’s territorial waters following Brexit would have a major impact on the fishing activity of Atlantic vessels.”
He noted, “It could also mean UK fishermen are not subject to the requirements of the common fisheries policy after Brexit, leading to unfair competition between UK and European fishermen.”
Turning to the tourism and transport sectors, Morançais, who is President of the Atlantic Arc Commission, said, “Brexit will probably cause constraints on flows of citizens and goods crossing the Channel and thus raise the issue of economic impacts on tourism activities and maritime, road and air transport companies.
“British customers also represent a large part of Pays de la Loire and the Atlantic Arc’s tourist clientele.”
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