As the two sides meet in Brussels next week, red lines are readily drawn for a major showdown as time is running out to achieve a deal before the October 15th deadline.
As in previous negotiations, Brussels wants a deal on trade and fishing on the same ticket, but that isn’t what the British negotiators are willing to sign up to. The British want control of quotas and access which can change on an annual base, not a one size fits all agreement which the EU wants.
The meeting to talk about fisheries will take place over 2 days totalling 10 hours, 4-hours on Tuesday and a 6-hour negotiation on Wednesday.
The two sides still envisage a deal being done, but there are still significant divides in crucial areas.
Unfortunately, there has been a shift in the Internal Market Bill, and it looks like the EU are slightly calling the shots. Downing Street is still keeping the Bill in action but delaying its implementation into law till around December. This change came after the EU said this Bill seriously put the talks at risk of total collapse. They said they would not be negotiating with a gun on the table.
A quote given by an EU diplomat in the Telegraph said: “Things have improved, but there is no way the EU will sign a trade deal when a gun is still on the table.
“We are looking for a deal, and we are hearing positive noises from London but now is the time for the Brits to put the cards on the table.
“Nice words and mood music won’t cut it.”
A UK official added: “We are now in the final period of negotiations.
“There remains a lot of work to be done.
“If the gaps in these areas are to be bridged, the EU’s more constructive attitude will need to be translated into more realistic policy positions.”
Though the two sides state, they want a deal they still disagree on the route to achieving that deal.
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