Christophe Hanson, MEP, has said the EU need to role back its red lines on fisheries, to secure a trade deal with Britain. This hasn’t gone down well, as this would hand a trade deal win to Boris Johnson while infuriating the EU coastal communities.
As the two sides search for a last-minute deal, Mr Hanson said: “There will be compromises to be made on fisheries. The status quo, that is somewhere we’re not going to land.”
Barnier has already said that a compromise is needed to get a trade deal over the line. Coastal communities in the EU have rejected the push for a compromise. This is backed up by French President Macron who said mutual access to British fishing grounds are needed for any trade deal to pass.
Though Macron remains stubborn on fishing, French fishing organisations know that a no-deal Brexit would decimate their industry.
Olivier Lepretre, chairman of the northern French fishers said: “Boulogne absolutely needs an agreement. We are the largest fishing port in France with a turnover of 450,000 tonnes, including 300,000 tonnes of our own catch. French fishermen need further access to British waters.
“If there were a hard Brexit without an agreement on fishing rights, it would be catastrophic.”
Since the UK voted to leave the EU, the French fishing industry has seen significant withdrawal of investment due to Britain declaring it’s taking back control of its sovereign waters.
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