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英国脱欧为什么这么费劲?这一产业影响巨大

英国脱欧为什么这么费劲?这一产业影响巨大

Jeremy Kahn 2020年10月19日
在欧盟与英国有关英国脱欧之后的贸易协议进行的谈判中,捕鱼权成为了一个关键问题。

两周前,英国首席贸易谈判代表戴维?弗罗斯特对英国议会表示,国家对企业的支持问题一直是英国与欧盟贸易谈判的主要障碍,在英国政府表示准备在这个问题上做出让步之后,剩下的最大障碍可能就是捕鱼业。

英国首相鲍里斯?约翰逊曾经威胁,如果10月15日在布鲁塞尔召开的欧盟英国脱欧峰会上,他认为双方无法达成协议,他将彻底退出贸易谈判。

欧盟英国脱欧首席谈判代表米歇尔?巴尼耶则在力劝欧洲尤其是法国和比利时的政治人物,在2021年1月1日英国脱欧的过渡期期满之后,适度降低他们对于进入英国水域的要求。

但到目前为止,巴尼耶的请求似乎遭到了拒绝。法国欧洲事务部长克莱门特?伯恩在上周表示,法国“不会接受糟糕的协议,尤其是对捕鱼业不利的糟糕协议。我们在渔业问题上不会软弱,这一点非常明确。”比利时称,1666年英格兰国王查尔斯二世授权比利时渔民在英国水域捕鱼。

渔业的经济价值不大

渔业在英国和欧盟经济中所占的比例都微乎其微,在英国,渔业仅占总增加值的0.1%,仅创造了约0.05%的就业,而渔业在欧盟所占的比例更小。那么渔业为什么会成为可能阻碍贸易协议的问题?

一个原因是,这个问题对双方具有极高的情感意义和象征意义。虽然渔业在经济活动中所占的比例极小,并且其比重在不断下降,但渔民依旧与英国的民族认同感密切相关。

捕鱼权是英国脱欧的拥护者们关注的主要领域之一,当时他们表示希望从布鲁塞尔“夺回控制权”。英国的渔民是支持英国脱欧的选民中声量最高的群体之一。所以,作为推动英国脱欧的领导者之一,英国首相约翰逊对于指责他要抛弃渔民的声音非常敏感。

此外,“欧洲变革中的英国”(U.K. in a Changing Europe)智库的分析师马特?贝文顿表示,约翰逊可能把捕鱼权视为英国可能获得“胜利”的少数几个领域之一,然后政府可以将其宣扬为英国脱欧成功的证据。该智库隶属于伦敦国王学院(King’s College London)。

与此同时,虽然渔业仅占法国经济总量的0.06%,但渔业对于布列塔尼大区和加来周边地区的许多城市非常重要,这些地区可能是现任总统埃曼努尔?马克龙在2022年法国总统大选中的重要战场。

英国水域对于这些地区的渔民非常关键。法国在北大西洋的捕鱼量,三分之一来自英国水域。丹麦、比利时、荷兰、爱尔兰和德国渔民的相关比例更高。如果欧盟渔民被完全禁止在英国水域捕鱼,他们可能会难以为继。

但贝文顿指出,英国渔业尤其是鲭鱼和鲱鱼等市场,也高度依赖欧盟市场。鲭鱼和鲱鱼这两种鱼在运至英国港口的所有鱼类中占一半左右,但英国消费者几乎不吃这两种鱼。英国三分之二的鲭鱼和大部分鲱鱼都被出口到欧盟。如果双方无法达成贸易协议,这两种鱼将被加征15%的关税。

天哪!

但不止英国要担心这些关税的影响。关税的大部分影响会落到欧盟消费者头上,因为英国水域捕捞的鱼类,很多都变成了欧盟消费者的盘中餐。

贝文顿表示,基于这种关系的存在,双方之间应该有很多妥协的空间。但他说,在整个贸易谈判的交锋过程中,策略和政治上的考虑,导致任何一方在最后一刻之前很难主动让步。

贝文顿说:“英国很清楚虽然它在其他领域不占优势,但在渔业问题上却处在强势的地位,所以英国希望把渔业留在最后,作为其他领域谈判的筹码。”

但正如法国欧盟事务部长伯恩所说,这种策略可能会事与愿违。他告诉法国报纸《世界报》(Le Monde):“英国想要夺回他们的水域,他们认为这会让他们有谈判的筹码。但他们忘了,关于双方正在谈判的所有问题,英国的索取远多于付出。”他还重申,法国“不会牺牲”渔民的利益,用于换取贸易协议。

到目前为止,欧盟展现出一种绝对主义者的立场,根据欧盟共同渔业政策要求继续允许欧盟渔船在英国水域捕鱼。欧盟共同渔业政策主要按照各国在整个欧盟领海内的历史捕捞量,分配可捕捞配额。英国则表示要遵守“区域附属”原则,依旧允许外国船只在其水域作业,但会根据特定海域内发现的每种鱼类的实际数量分配捕捞配额。

贝文顿认为欧盟最终会让步。他说:“肯定要有一方让步。欧盟的要求不现实,而且区域附属原则依旧会给与欧盟一定的配额。所以,双方有谈判的空间,关键就在于具体的条件。”

但他提醒说,欧盟对英国缺乏信任,而且在任何外交博弈当中,双方等待太长时间很可能导致整个贸易协议失败,这种风险始终存在。(财富中文网)

翻译:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

两周前,英国首席贸易谈判代表戴维?弗罗斯特对英国议会表示,国家对企业的支持问题一直是英国与欧盟贸易谈判的主要障碍,在英国政府表示准备在这个问题上做出让步之后,剩下的最大障碍可能就是捕鱼业。

英国首相鲍里斯?约翰逊曾经威胁,如果10月15日在布鲁塞尔召开的欧盟英国脱欧峰会上,他认为双方无法达成协议,他将彻底退出贸易谈判。

欧盟英国脱欧首席谈判代表米歇尔?巴尼耶则在力劝欧洲尤其是法国和比利时的政治人物,在2021年1月1日英国脱欧的过渡期期满之后,适度降低他们对于进入英国水域的要求。

但到目前为止,巴尼耶的请求似乎遭到了拒绝。法国欧洲事务部长克莱门特?伯恩在上周表示,法国“不会接受糟糕的协议,尤其是对捕鱼业不利的糟糕协议。我们在渔业问题上不会软弱,这一点非常明确。”比利时称,1666年英格兰国王查尔斯二世授权比利时渔民在英国水域捕鱼。

渔业的经济价值不大

渔业在英国和欧盟经济中所占的比例都微乎其微,在英国,渔业仅占总增加值的0.1%,仅创造了约0.05%的就业,而渔业在欧盟所占的比例更小。那么渔业为什么会成为可能阻碍贸易协议的问题?

一个原因是,这个问题对双方具有极高的情感意义和象征意义。虽然渔业在经济活动中所占的比例极小,并且其比重在不断下降,但渔民依旧与英国的民族认同感密切相关。

捕鱼权是英国脱欧的拥护者们关注的主要领域之一,当时他们表示希望从布鲁塞尔“夺回控制权”。英国的渔民是支持英国脱欧的选民中声量最高的群体之一。所以,作为推动英国脱欧的领导者之一,英国首相约翰逊对于指责他要抛弃渔民的声音非常敏感。

此外,“欧洲变革中的英国”(U.K. in a Changing Europe)智库的分析师马特?贝文顿表示,约翰逊可能把捕鱼权视为英国可能获得“胜利”的少数几个领域之一,然后政府可以将其宣扬为英国脱欧成功的证据。该智库隶属于伦敦国王学院(King’s College London)。

与此同时,虽然渔业仅占法国经济总量的0.06%,但渔业对于布列塔尼大区和加来周边地区的许多城市非常重要,这些地区可能是现任总统埃曼努尔?马克龙在2022年法国总统大选中的重要战场。

英国水域对于这些地区的渔民非常关键。法国在北大西洋的捕鱼量,三分之一来自英国水域。丹麦、比利时、荷兰、爱尔兰和德国渔民的相关比例更高。如果欧盟渔民被完全禁止在英国水域捕鱼,他们可能会难以为继。

但贝文顿指出,英国渔业尤其是鲭鱼和鲱鱼等市场,也高度依赖欧盟市场。鲭鱼和鲱鱼这两种鱼在运至英国港口的所有鱼类中占一半左右,但英国消费者几乎不吃这两种鱼。英国三分之二的鲭鱼和大部分鲱鱼都被出口到欧盟。如果双方无法达成贸易协议,这两种鱼将被加征15%的关税。

天哪!

但不止英国要担心这些关税的影响。关税的大部分影响会落到欧盟消费者头上,因为英国水域捕捞的鱼类,很多都变成了欧盟消费者的盘中餐。

贝文顿表示,基于这种关系的存在,双方之间应该有很多妥协的空间。但他说,在整个贸易谈判的交锋过程中,策略和政治上的考虑,导致任何一方在最后一刻之前很难主动让步。

贝文顿说:“英国很清楚虽然它在其他领域不占优势,但在渔业问题上却处在强势的地位,所以英国希望把渔业留在最后,作为其他领域谈判的筹码。”

但正如法国欧盟事务部长伯恩所说,这种策略可能会事与愿违。他告诉法国报纸《世界报》(Le Monde):“英国想要夺回他们的水域,他们认为这会让他们有谈判的筹码。但他们忘了,关于双方正在谈判的所有问题,英国的索取远多于付出。”他还重申,法国“不会牺牲”渔民的利益,用于换取贸易协议。

到目前为止,欧盟展现出一种绝对主义者的立场,根据欧盟共同渔业政策要求继续允许欧盟渔船在英国水域捕鱼。欧盟共同渔业政策主要按照各国在整个欧盟领海内的历史捕捞量,分配可捕捞配额。英国则表示要遵守“区域附属”原则,依旧允许外国船只在其水域作业,但会根据特定海域内发现的每种鱼类的实际数量分配捕捞配额。

贝文顿认为欧盟最终会让步。他说:“肯定要有一方让步。欧盟的要求不现实,而且区域附属原则依旧会给与欧盟一定的配额。所以,双方有谈判的空间,关键就在于具体的条件。”

但他提醒说,欧盟对英国缺乏信任,而且在任何外交博弈当中,双方等待太长时间很可能导致整个贸易协议失败,这种风险始终存在。(财富中文网)

翻译:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

Twot weeks ago, David Frost, the chief U.K. trade negotiator, told the British Parliament that fishing was perhaps the biggest impediment remaining to an agreement after the U.K. signaled it was prepared to give ground on the issue of state support for businesses, which had been another major stumbling block.

Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, has threatened to quit the trade negotiations completely if a deal is not in sight at a crucial EU Brexit summit taking place in Brussels on October 15.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, for his part, has tried to urge European politicians, particularly in France and Belgium, to moderate their demands for access to British waters after the end of the Brexit transition period on Jan. 1.

But so far, Barnier’s pleas seem to be falling on deaf ears. France’s Europe minister, Clément Beaune, said last week that France “will not accept a bad deal and a bad deal in fisheries in particular. We will have no weakness on this issue of fisheries, that is clear.” Belgium said some of its fishermen had been granted rights to fish in British waters by King Charles II of England as far back as 1666.

A drop in the bucket

Fishing represents a minuscule portion of both the U.K. and EU economy—just 0.1% of gross value added and about 0.05% of jobs for Britain and even smaller fractions for the EU. So how did fishing become the issue that might scuttle a trade deal?

One is that the issue is highly emotive and symbolic for both sides. While it represents a tiny and declining portion of economic activity, fishermen are still closely associated with English identity.

Fishing rights were one of the principal areas that Brexit campaigners pointed to when they said they wanted to “take back control” from Brussels. English fishermen made up one of the most vocal blocks of Brexit voters too. So Johnson, who was one of the leaders of the drive to get the U.K. out of the EU, is sensitive to claims that he’s now abandoning fishermen.

In addition, Johnson may see fishing rights as one of the few areas where the U.K. might be able to score a “win” that the government can then tout as evidence of Brexit’s success, says Matt Bevington, an analyst with the think tank U.K. in a Changing Europe, which is affiliated with King’s College London.

Meanwhile, while fishing represents just 0.06% of the French economy overall, the industry is important to some cities in Brittany and the region around Calais that are likely to be important battlegrounds for French President Emmanuel Macron in the 2022 presidential election.

And access to British waters is crucial for fishermen in those regions. A third of France’s entire North Atlantic catch comes from U.K. waters. The percentage is even greater for fishermen from Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Germany. If they were to lose access entirely, many of these EU fishermen would struggle to stay in business.

But Bevington points out that the U.K. fishing industry, particularly the market for species such as mackerel and herring, is heavily dependent on market access to the EU too. Just two species—herring and mackerel—account for about half of all fish landed in British ports, and yet U.K. consumers hardly eat them. Two-thirds of British mackerel and most of its herring catch is exported to the EU. In the absence of a deal, these fish would be hit with an additional 15% tariff.

Holy mackerel!

And it is not just the U.K. that needs to worry about the effect of these tariffs. Much of the pain of them is likely to be borne by EU consumers, who eat a lot of the fish caught in British waters.

Given this dynamic, Bevington says, there ought to be plenty of room for compromise. But, he says, within the dynamics of the overall trade negotiations, tactical and political considerations make it difficult for either side to offer concessions—until the very last minute.

“The U.K. knows it is in a strong position when it comes to fish, which it is not in other areas, so it wants to leave fish for last to exert leverage in other areas,” he says.

The tactic, though, risks backfiring, as French EU minister Beaune points out. “The British want their waters back, and they believe this gives them leverage,” he told French newspaper Le Monde. “But they forget that for everything else they are negotiating; they have a lot more to ask than to offer.” He also reiterated that France would “not sacrifice” the interests of its fishermen for the sake of a deal.

So far, the EU has staked out an absolutist position, demanding continued access to U.K. waters for its fishing fleet on the basis of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, which set quotas largely based on each country’s historical catch totals from the entirety of EU territorial waters. The U.K. says it wants to move to a system of “zonal attachment,” where foreign fleets would still have some access, but with quotas based on the actual stocks of each species found in a particular part of the sea.

Bevington says he thinks the EU will eventually blink. “There is going to have be movement,” he said. “The EU is unrealistic, and the zonal attachment would still give the EU a quota. So there is room for movement, and it is just a matter of where they land.”

But he cautions the EU is distrustful of the U.K., and as in any game of diplomatic chicken, there is always a risk that the two sides will wait too long, resulting in the failure of the entire trade deal.

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