Brexiteer Redwood lashes out at bloc over fishing demands -‘Can’t let EU get its own way!’

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Post-Brexit trade deal negotiations were hit by another blow today as the UK side warned chances of a breakthrough were “receding”. A member of EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier’s team said today hat three key issues including fishing arrangements, state aid and the level playing field continued to be sticking points for both sides. Stefaan de Rynck, an adviser to Mr Barnier, told a seminar in Brussels: “The long and the short story is that talks are continuing in London.

“Significant divergences remain.

“Both sides are working hard to overcome them but the outcome is uncertain.”

But MP for Wokingham Sir John Redwood blasted the EU for slowing down a breakthrough in talks over its fishing demands.

He told “They are our fishing waters, we should take back all our fish.

“They are UK fish from our plentiful seas and do not belong to the EU.

“The future relationship is only important to them as they sell more fish than us.

“We cannot let the EU get its own way.”

The UK Government also said this evening that the chance of a deal being agreed before the end of the transition period on December 31 was “receding”.

It said: “At the eleventh hour, the EU is bringing new elements into the negotiation.

“A breakthrough is still possible in the next few days but that prospect is receding.”

British Education Secretary Gavin Williamson earlier said “good progress” had been made.

But he added the UK would accept only “a deal that is right for Britain, if such a deal is available.”

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He said: “If such a deal isn’t available, then we’re not going to sign up to something that is to our detriment.”

EU sources added Mr Barnier was now expected to return to Brussels and then come back to UK over the weekend to agree a deal.

However, the latest blow could mean this might not happen.

Negotiators have so far agreed on goods and services, as well as on transport.

But the UK is seeking annual catch negotiations while the EU wants a longer-term perspective for its fishing industry.

Fishing nations such as France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain were said to be concerned Mr Barnier would cave to British demands this week.

An EU diplomat said: “Some member states are becoming a bit jittery, so this was mostly an exercise to calm nerves in Paris and elsewhere and to reassure member states that team Mr Barnier will continue to defend core EU interests, including on fisheries.”

A second EU diplomat added Mr Barnier could be reluctant to back down as he may be worried any agreement he makes could be “scrutinised very heavily” by other EU nations.

They said: “If his intention was to reassure the ambassadors, he didn’t succeed.

“Whatever he brings back to Brussels will be scrutinised very heavily.”

Mr Barner also warned talks would be “in crisis” if Britain pressed ahead Internal Market Bill next week, which could allow ministers to make changes to the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “Our position on the clauses remains unchanged.”

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