We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
Express.co.uk readers can vote in our poll on whether the UK should accept the same EU fisheries policy to reach a trade deal. And let us know more about what you think in the comments section.
Our poll comes after No 10 hit back at the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier for accusing Britain of refusing to compromise.
In a speech on Wednesday, Mr Barnier said: “We did not see any change in the position of the UK.
“This is why I express publicly that I am worried and I am disappointed because, frankly speaking, we have moved.
“I’ve shown clearly openness to find compromise.
“If they don’t move on the issues which are the key issues of the EU, the level playing field, fisheries and governance, the UK will take itself the risk of a no deal.”
Mr Barnier added that the EU will not accept the livelihoods of fishermen and women being “used as a bargaining chip in these negotiations”.
And he insisted a deal must be agreed by the end of next month in order to have it in place for the close of the transition period on December 31.
The EU negotiator said: “We need a breakthrough, we need to move.
“If the UK wants a deal with us and a fair agreement for a zero-tariff, zero-quota access for British access to our market of 450 million consumers then they will have to move and it is their choice, it is their responsibility.
“We are ready to make a fair and constructive compromise but not at the detriment of the EU.”
But Downing Street yesterday erupted with fury at Mr Barnier’s claims.
Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson puts chance of deal at just 30% [LIVE BLOG]
Has Barnier gone barmy? Says our seas are British but the fish are EU! [COMMENT]
Brexit warning: Boris may be set to cave in on fishing, says Brexiteer [INSIGHT]
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “Michel Barnier’s comments are a misleading representation of our proposals aimed at deflecting scrutiny from the EU’s own positions which are unrealistic and unprecedented.
“For our part, we’ve been consistently clear that we’re seeking a relationship that respects our sovereignty and has a free trade agreement at its core similar to those the EU has already agreed with like-minded countries.
“The EU has refused to engage with our proposals and the documents we’ve brought to the table insisting we must accept continuity with EU fisheries policy and disregarding the UK’s status as an independent coastal state.
“We need more realism from the EU on the scale of the change that results from our leaving the EU.
“We do want an agreement and are looking for a relationship based on the EU’s existing bilateral arrangement on fishing with Norway which is the most relevant precedent to relationships between two independent coastal states.”
Fishing has proved to be a major sticking point in post-Brexit talks led by Mr Barnier and his UK counterpart David Frost.
Britain is demanding a fishing arrangement similar to the EU’s with Norway.
However, negotiations remain deadlocked following the seventh round in Brussels last month.
Mr Barnier and Mr Frost met this week for informal talks in Downing Street.
The eighth round of formal negotiations takes place in London next week.
The UK left the EU on January 31.
Britain is in a transition period with Brussels until the end of the year while the two sides attempt to finalise a post-Brexit trade deal.
Source: Read Full Article