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Minister for Environment urges fishing industry to prepare for no-deal Brexit

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THE FISHING industry needs to start preparing for a no-deal Brexit so that they can continue to import and export fish and fish products once the UK leaves the EU – that’s the message from the Minister for the Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths.

From 29 March 2019, in the event of a ‘no deal’, most fish and fish products will require a catch certificate for import or export between the UK and EU. This also applies to fishers who land fish directly into EU ports.

Catch certificates prove fish have been caught in line with established conservation and management measures. All non-EU countries are required to present catch certificates when trading with the EU.
 
The Welsh Government is holding a series of Brexit and Fisheries roadshow events over the coming week.  The events are aimed at helping the industry prepare for Brexit, share information and provide support about what documents and certificates are needed in a post-Brexit world.
 
The Minister for the Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said, “Let me be clear, I believe the best outcome for the fishing industry is a deal. A no deal would have a devastating impact on the sector and must be avoided at all costs.
 
“However we need to plan ahead for all eventualities and our fishers need to be prepared for a no-deal Brexit.  That is why they need to be aware of the processes they need to undertake to be able to transition smoothly to doing business outside of the EU.
 
“As a Government, we are doing all we can to support the sector prepare for Brexit and the challenges it brings.  Our forthcoming roadshow events will help the fishing industry know what they need to do to prepare and help put them in a position to adapt to the changing markets.  I urge all fishers to come along and find out more.”
 
A new IT system to process and issue export catch certificates, and other supporting documentation, is being developed to help streamline the process. Exporters will receive full instructions on how to register and use the new system before the UK leave the EU. Import catch certificates will continue to be processed through the current paper-based system.
 
In addition to documents required under IUU regulations, fish importers and exporters will also need to follow additional steps to comply with health and customs regulations, in the event of a ‘no deal’ EU Exit.
 
Fishers and fishing businesses can stay up to date with the latest advice on EU Exit on GOV.UK

To inform fishers of the new processes and address any questions, the Welsh Government is running a series of consultation events throughout January.

Dates and venues are below.
 
22nd January – Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire Yacht Club, SA73 3RS.
23rd January – New Quay, Black Lion Hotel, SA45 9PT.
30th January – Saundersfoot, Saundersfoot Sailing Club, SA69 9HE.
31st January – Bury Port, Bury Port Yacht club, SA16 0ER.

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Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

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THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap.

Sam Kurtz will take over the seat from the outgoing Angela Burns who held a majority of 3,400 at the last election.

This time, the gap was just 936 to Labour’s Hassan Riaz who picked up 10,304 votes.

Plaid Cymru’s Cefin Campbell picked up 6,615 votes.

The turnout in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire was slightly up to 52.12% from 51.2% in 2016.

However, with a larger electorate thanks to votes for 16/17-year-olds, the number of votes cast went up by almost 3,000.

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Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

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PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency.

He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895 votes for Labour’s Jackie Jones.

Plaid Cymru candidate Cris Tomos gained just over 6,000 votes and there were also 1,239 for Reform UK candidate Alan Dennison.

There were over 3000 more votes cast in 2016, down largely in part to the fact that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote in this election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour received more votes than before while the gap to Labour closed to just 1,400.

After being elected, Paul Davies said he would continue to ‘fight for Pembrokeshire’ and thanked those who had been involved in his campaign.

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed

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THE SENTENCING of a former director of Cardigan Castle who has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been delayed.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but has now been delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project..

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

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