Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said her party will continue to fight for the rights of Irish fishermen to fish in the Irish Sea.
The Ireland South MEP, who sits on the EU Fisheries Committee, was responding to a report from the British Government which claimed they would take much stricter control of their waters post-Brexit.
“Irish fishermen will not be browbeaten by the British Government,” she said.
“The claims they are making in this paper, even if they are already being rubbished as red herrings by both Labour and the Scottish Government, would have a disastrous effect on Irish fishing.
“This is another classic example of the empty Tory ‘Brexit means Brexit’ refrain, as they attempt to flex their muscles in the face of faltering negotiations and an imploding government. At this stage it looks more like Brexit means rhetoric.
“All the same it is imperative that our own government make clear that the livelihoods of our fishermen will not be held hostage by the Tories and the DUP.
“The Irish fishing industry must be supported in each and every way by ensuring the continued inclusion of fisheries as part of trade negotiations.
“There simply can be no reduction in our quota share and the retention of historical reciprocal access between Ireland and Britain must continue. Our islands are too close together, particularly given disputed waters along the border and the rights of Irish fishermen, north or south, to access all Irish waters, for this kind of brinkmanship.
“I would remind the British Government that at this stage of the negotiations the time for temper tantrums is well over. They must begin engaging seriously and making real proposals. I would also urge the Irish Government not to be swayed by such transparent nonsense.”