Planas hopes that in the Council, which is celebrated today and tomorrow, the agreement will be "satisfactory" for the Spanish fleet.

As explained, Spain will defend in the Council respect for the objectives of the application of maximum sustainable yield (RMS) and the full application of landing obligations, using the widest margin available for social and economic impact on the sector be as small as possible and fishing opportunities are favorable for the fleet.

He also pointed out that alternatives to the European Commission's proposal to reduce TACs and quotas of fisheries of interest to the Spanish fleet will be proposed, based on the most recent scientific reports, which support a sustainable exploitation of resources

In relation to southern hake (waters of the Gulf of Cádiz, Portugal and Cantabrian), the European Commission proposes a decrease in TAC of 20%. Spain will defend the higher ranges of fishing mortality at different levels, so that the quota cut is smaller.

It has also disagreed with the reductions proposed in other fisheries of interest to Spain, such as horse mackerel, for which the recommendations of ICES that offer alternatives with smaller declines will be valued.

And in relation to the crayfish, Spain will ask to take into account the most recent scientific reports that it has to carry out with a view to a series of scientific studies that allow requesting the reopening of this fishery, closed since 2017.

Brexit

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and FoodRegarding the "Brexit", the minister has indicated that the TACs and quotas that are being negotiated today and tomorrow for the year 2020 will be fully in force in the event that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in the coming year.

This is stated in the agreement on the transitional period of separation, said Planas: "That is positive because it gives stability and gives certainty."

The minister has referred to the British elections, which gave a large majority to the conservative party.

He pointed out that there are more possibilities for a speedy ratification by the British Parliament of the separation agreement and the political declaration, as well as for its adoption by the European Parliament.

Planas has remarked that the agreement on access to British waters of the Community fleet has yet to be closed. In that sense, it has referred to an agreement on catches, because the captured products will fall within the framework of the trade agreement (EU-UK).

CAP Reform

Luis Planas talks with his counterparts before the Council startsMinistry of Agriculture, Fisheries and FoodIn relation to agriculture issues, the Council will review the progress that has taken place during the Finnish Presidency in the negotiations on the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). As explained by the minister, the discussion document includes some improvements proposed by Spain, such as the possibility of granting aid under eco-schemes per head of cattle, fixing redistributive payments with different amounts by region, and an agronomic or socioeconomic zoning, to design a payment in Spain that takes into account the diversity of Spanish agriculture and livestock.

However, there are still aspects that require further debate, such as definitions of eligible hectare and genuine farmer, sector interventions, green architecture or financial arrangements.

For Spain, the maintenance of the CAP budget is a red line, so it will defend that it be maintained at current prices at the same levels as in the current programming period.

Regarding US tariffs, Planas has reiterated Spain's rejection of these impositions. He also recalled that Spain and France have requested the inclusion in the agenda of a point to discuss the need for additional compensatory measures to protect agricultural sectors that have been unfairly affected.



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