Fishing, along with EU demands for a “level-playing field” on competition still seems to be the outstanding obstacle to agreeing on any agreement.
The EU Brexit trade negotiator Michel Barnier has been under mounting pressure from top EU fishing nations like France to seek the exact same access to the UK’s fish-rich waters once Britain leaves the Common Fisheries Policy on January 1, 2021.
Boris felt the EU wasn’t taking Britain seriously following the EU Council Summit last week. Emmanuel Macron threatened there would be no deal on trade unless there were an agreement reached on fishing,
The French President did say he had been willing to reach a “good settlement” with the UK.
Barrie Deas, CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), has insisted Brussels’ finally understands the united kingdom and predicts a climb down will come from the EU.
Both the NFFO who represent fishermen in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Mr Deas understand the growing anger in the EU adding the mood as “gaunt” amongst its leading figures.
The express was told: “We see no sign that the UK will cave in on fisheries.
“The UK’s sovereign rights as an independent coastal state are regarded by the Government as sacrosanct.
“On the other hand, there are signs that Michel Barnier, Angela Merkel and even President Macron recognise that they are gaunt to have to give ground on fisheries.”
Ahead of additional discussions with Lord Frost, Mr Barnier made out the pressure was on either side to seek a way to a final deal.
Barnier said: “It’s very important to be back at the table.
“We have a huge common responsibility. Every day counts.”
While the EU plays down the struggles in this negotiation, Number 10 insists “significant gaps” stay, warning it was “entirely possible that discussions will not succeed”.
Outstanding issues continue to remain around state governance and aid, and earlier this week, Mr Macron maintained that the sides are “stumbling over everything”.
He said: “The state of our talks is not that we are stumbling over the issue of fishing, which is the tactical argument made by the British, but we’re stumbling over everything.”
Ahead of the talks, a spokeswoman for Mr Frost said: “We have jointly agreed a set of principles for handling this intensified phase of talks.
“It is clear that significant gaps remain between our positions in the most difficult areas, but we are ready, with the EU, to see if it is possible to bridge them in intensive talks.