The UK is on course to leave the EU on January 31 before entering an 11-month transition period until the end of 2020. But France has reportedly insisted Britain must give the bloc access to its fishing waters for 25 years after Brexit if it wants to strike a free trade agreement.
Express.co.uk readers vented their anger on the Daily Express Facebook page.
One commented: “No way Boris we need to rebuild our fishing industry that was practically destroyed by the EU we must ensure we have sufficient fisheries protection vessels.”
Another wrote: “Macron has had his party !! Stole our fish for years !! Put our fishing boats out of business !! The fish now are no better than sardines they don’t have time to grow.”
A third posted: “Definitely NOT if it happens then they’ll send in huge tankers and empty our waters of fish, tell them to do one, forgive me if I’m wrong but wasn’t it a pledge to take back our waters.”
A fourth pointed out: “This is one of the reasons we wanted out.”
One more said: “The EU made our fishermen suffer, it’s payback time for their fishermen to suffer.”
A sixth added: “Macron is in no position to DEMAND anything.”
And another simply wrote: “Absolutely NOT.”
France has insisted in closed-door European Commission meetings that the UK must give the EU access to its fishing waters for 25 years after Brexit if it wants to strike a free trade agreement, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Brussels has warned that reaching a deal over fishing by July 1 is a prerequisite for a post-Brexit trade agreement.
The UK is believed to only be willing to accept a one-year agreement on fishing, putting Boris Johnson on a collision course with the EU.
It comes after the Prime Minister heralded the end of “far too many years of argument and division” as he signed the Withdrawal Agreement yesterday, saying the UK can now “move forward as one country”.
Earlier on Friday, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen signed the agreement in Brussels.
Mr Johnson said: “The signing of the Withdrawal Agreement is a fantastic moment, which finally delivers the result of the 2016 referendum and brings to an end far too many years of argument and division.
“We can now move forward as one country – with a Government focused upon delivering better public services, greater opportunity and unleashing the potential of every corner of our brilliant United Kingdom, while building a strong new relationship with the EU as friends and sovereign equals.”
The European Parliament is expected to vote to approve the agreement on Wednesday, paving the way for the UK to leave the EU at the end of the month.
It will mark the start of an 11-month transition period, during which time Britain will continue to follow the bloc’s rules, before the final break with Brussels at the end of the year.
Mr Johnson has said he wants to negotiate a comprehensive free trade deal with the EU by December 2020.