Macron will be furious as Barnier is set to break redlines on fisheries in the autumn.

With time running out for the EU to do a deal, it’s said that major compromises from the EU on fisheries could happen around September, October this year a leading Brussels insider suggests. London correspondent, Seán Whelan for RTE, has said it’s likely that Michel Barnier is to back down from his red lines on fisheries at the last moment to clear away towards a free trade deal.

The correspondent went on to say, Brussels will hold out for the time being on giving in on its redlines, as talks/negotiations progress towards the autumn. The correspondent went on to suggest that the EU will back down on its demands, in the autumn, for a fixed agreement on fisheries with the UK.

If this were to happen it would infuriate the French President Macron as his demands to the French Chief EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, was to seek continued access and same fisheries quotas as the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
In the RTE Brexit Podcast, Whelan said: “There is no appetite for EU to change the mandate they gave to Michel Barnier right now. Boris Johnson seemed to accept that EU won’t relax its mandate at the moment.
“Overall, all sides on the EU side believe it is not the time to compromise in a big way.”
He added: “They would rather do that in September or October. They don’t believe the time is right to shift on its positions.
“They will not compromise now; they will budge in September or October. That is the orthodoxy around Brussels at the moment.”
RTE’s Europe Editor Tony Connelly continued the discussion saying: “Germany, which is taking over the presidency of the EU this month, wants to first focus on the coronavirus recovery fund and the next seven-year budget.”
Whelan continued: “Fishing is a passionate issue. The EU wants a deal that essentially replicates the common fisheries policy, a fixed set-up.
“But the UK wants annual negotiations about allowing EU vessels into British waters.”
“There seems to be ground to compromise, for establishing fishing access in negotiations every three years, five years, seven years. There is a huge middle ground there.”
Mr Michel BARNIER, Brexit EU Chief Negotiator. Copyright: European Union Event: Special meeting of the European Council (Art. 50)
With the french heavily reliant on access to British waters for their fish, it is clear to see that if Barnier were to capitulate on his redlines on fisheries, it wouldn’t just be the French that would be up in arms about it. The Dutch and Belgians would also have something to say, as it’s in their interests too to have unfettered access to catch fish from British waters.
Britain has always said that the waters around the UK would be under a different and more sustainable system compared to the EU common fisheries policy, which many have said has decimated, not only fish stocks but environmentally as well.
After Britain leaves the EU in its entirety, at the end of the year, any third country, who wants access into British waters to fish will have to adhere to UK laws and rules on fisheries including quotas.
Boris is adamant that UK negotiators will not be giving Britain sovereign waters away in exchange for a free trade agreement.
The next round of trade talks between the EU and UK starts tomorrow with negotiations being more intense and focused on bridging the gap to see if a deal can be completed before the year-end deadline.
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