French President Emmanuel Macron is said to be fuming after he led a group of eight EU member states in lambasting the Chief EU negotiator after saying Barnier has compromised “too much” on his promised redlines on fisheries. The conflict came in a heated discussion between the eight-member states that wanted the status quo on fisheries in regards to access and quotas after the transition period has ended.
Barnier is now in a tight spot, and it’s down to each country having their own red lines in regards to what they want from Britain. It’s clear to see that the EU are anything but in solidarity with the negotiators.
In an interview with RTE, the Europe Editor, Tony Connelly described what went on. Connelly said: Barnier apparently had a fairly difficult meeting with the Group of Eight fishing countries, of which Ireland and France are a member.
“They told him to stick to the mandate and warned him it is not the time to comprise on their red lines on fisheries.”
He continued: “The UK wants an annual negotiations with the EU on the share-out of quotas, and the EU has said, ‘Absolutely not, that will never work’.
“The UK has pointed to the annual negotiations the EU have with Norway.
“But the EU says they share seven species with Norway, but over a hundred with the UK so annual negotiations on that scale are technically impossible.
“That is the deadlock we have on fisheries. The UK believes it is being reasonable, accepting some quota for EU fleet but not the status quo.
“Barnier has signalled that the EU could compromise on the demands, but he was called out by the member-states.”
Connelly added: “In the negotiating mandate, fishing was the one area where member-states sent the draft back, insisting they wanted a tougher line from the Commission.
“They want the status quo to remain, but Britain wants to be in the driver’s seat, and have control over who comes in and how much quota they get.”
This falling out between Macron and Barnier came after the negotiations were cut short after both sides threw in the towel early due to significant differences still remaining. Barnier is under considerable pressure as he is being told to tackle Britain in wanting to control its waters post-transition period. Macron said negotiations wouldn’t move forward until Britain negotiating demands were dropped.
Posted in UK POLITICS
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