Irish fishermen want to quit the EU to preserve their livlihoods
Seamen fear they could lose their livelihood if the UK decides to close its waters after quitting the bloc, as British seas account for a third of their annual catch.
European fisherman would also be forced to fish in Irish waters, leaving slim pickings for everyone involved.
The Irish catch 64 percent of their mackerel, 52 percent of their cod and 39 percent of their scampi in British waters.
The lucrative cold Scottish waters provide Irish fishers with one their most prized catches, large horse mackerel, which can fetch up to £2.56 (€3) per kilogram, Poltico reported.
Fisherman Michael Callaghan, from County Donegal, told the website: “If we had to fish mackerel in Irish waters, they would be worth 30 percent less. It would be a huge hit.
"We’d have to leave the EU to wrangle any of our power back."
Out of an annual overseas sales of £472million (€554m), exports to Britain are worth £56m (€65.5m).
Many fishermen think the only way to survive would be to quit the EU and strike a trade deal with the UK.
Kevin Downey, a fisherman for 35 years, said: “I think [the U.K.] is doing the right thing. If our fishing industry is going to survive, Ireland should follow suit.”
Ireland's fishing industry relies heavily on access to British water
The fishing quotas issue was championed by Leave campaigners during the referendum campaign, hitting headlines when Nigel Farage faced off against Remainer Bob Geldof on rival flotillas down the River Thames.
However, EU documents leaked to the Guardian this week revealed MEPs are plotting to block British fishermen getting their waters back.
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MEPs have reportedly drafted a stipulation saying the UK will simply retain its existing fishing quota within British and EU waters, adding that in order to maintain its commitment to the United Nations sustainable fishing agreement it was "difficult to see any alternative".
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