European MP: Icelandic Mackerel Fishing Pretext Skip to content

European MP: Icelandic Mackerel Fishing Pretext

Struan Stevenson, member of the European Parliament for Scotland, who is one of the vice-presidents of the parliament’s Fisheries Committee, declared Iceland’s unilateral 147,000-ton mackerel quota decision a pretext designed to provoke the European Union and jeopardizes Iceland’s membership application.


Fishing in Iceland. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

According to, Stevenson accuses the Icelandic government of trying to avoid a national referendum on EU membership and a scandal by blaming the EU on discontinuing the membership process. He claims that if the nation rejects EU membership, the government will collapse.

Stevenson reasoned that everyone knows that Icelandic Minster of Fisheries Jón Bjarnason is a sworn opponent of EU membership and what better way to get the Icelandic government out of the jam which its decision to apply for EU membership has created than by provoking the EU by increasing the mackerel quota unilaterally.

The government knows that the majority of the nation is against membership and would reject it in a referendum, Stevenson claimed, which would prove a scandal for the government which has promoted EU membership and lead to its resignation.

The Icelandic government has therefore launched a political game in order to be able to blame the “bad guys” in Brussels for discontinuing the membership process, Stevenson theorized.

Click here to read more about the unilateral mackerel quota and the reactions to it and here to read more about Iceland’s application for EU membership.

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