As Brexit negotiations regarding EU fishing rights enter the critical phase, the minister for food and environment, Esben Lunde Larsen, has been stripped of his duties pertaining to the fishing industry.
Instead, the fishing arena has been transferred to Karen Ellemann, who will add it to her current portfolio as minister for equality and Nordic co-operation.
Announcing the changes, PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen said that he had not been satisfied with Lunde Larsen’s performance in this area.
“Firstly, it has been shown that the management of the so-called negotiable fishing quotas has been unsatisfactory for a number of years and I need to take stock of that,” said Rasmussen.
“Secondly, the fishing industry is facing a huge challenge in Brexit as a great number of fish are landed in British waters. With the change we will get a greater focus on strengthening the international alliances that ensure that the Danish realm will emerge from negotiations as strong as possible.”
READ MORE: Denmark prepares for post-Brexit tussle over fishing rights
Larsen has found himself in rough seas since he was given a ‘nose’ (reprimand) by Parliament earlier this year for not adequately informing the parties about the options available for curbing the most powerful fishing companies in Denmark, who had muscled in on a large portion of the fishing quotas.
Larsen took full responsibility for the issue and apologised, and Parliament allowed him to keep his ministerial position.
Dansk Folkeparti (DF), which has been after Larsen hard in recent months, was more than pleased with the outcome.
“I think it’s a really fine solution. We have witnessed the practical sacking of the minister,” Ib Poulsen, DF’s spokesperson on fishing issues, said according to TV2 News.
“I’m not in politics to sack ministers, but to push through policy. And it’s no secret that it’s been very, very difficult with Esben Lunde Larsen at the other end of the table.”