Barnier starts backpedaling on fisheries as he admits EU demands “clearly not” balanced.

With recent notes from a previous meeting being released Barnier seems to be backpedaling from his redlines on fisheries. Barnier said the EU’s position on the matter was “clearly not” balanced, and he was willing to be “creative” for the negotiations to move on. The UK demanded that the opportunities on fishing would be divided by using a scientific method backed by data on the number of fish in UK waters.

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It’s said that the method known as a zonal attachment would benefit the UK fishermen after the EU demands equivalent rights into the UK waters which Barnier has since said it was unbalanced to ask for such demands.

Notes taken from a meeting on the 23rd of June, which were recently published, has Barnier saying: “I am waiting with much patience for a reply from the British side.
“If there is no response, there will be no agreement on fisheries and no agreement on trade.”
Mr Barnier also suggested that yearly talks on fishing opportunities could be possible.

He said: “You can discuss fishing stocks regularly every year in the light of the scientific advice so that we can protect resources and biodiversity, but negotiating access to waters and the fish in those waters every year would be impossible for 100-odd species.
“There will be no trade agreement with the UK if there is no balanced agreement on fisheries.
“Is this ‘balanced agreement’ the British position, as it is now? Certainly not.
“Is it the European position as it is today? Clearly Not.”

During the meeting, Mr Barnier claimed he offered UK negotiators a compromise that “would take account, of course, of the zonal attachment that the UK wants”.
He added: “We must take account of that, but of other parameters as well: historic fishing rights, sometimes dating back many centuries; the economic interests of coastal fishing communities in the EU and the UK; and international rules from the UN on biodiversity.”

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