UK rages as Brexit negotiator tells EU Boris has backtracked on fishing

brexit

An EU diplomat said there had been “backtracking” by the British in the row over future access to our coastal waters for European boats.

The insider said Mr Barnier had described “some limited progress” in the discussions between the EU and UK over the weekend. 

 A UK source hit back at claims the country’s negotiators were “backtracking” in the discussions over fishing quotas.

“Just not true,” they said.

It is understood that British officials have dug their heels in on fish after offering minor concessions on the so-called “level playing field”.

The Reuters news agency reported one EU diplomat as saying Mr Barnier was “guarded” in his debrief to EU envoys on the state of play in the Brexit talks.

The source added: “Patient still alive … but keep the undertaker on speed dial.”

Ahead of the meeting, Mr Barnier told journalists a trade deal remains possible in the coming days.

He said: “We’ve only been negotiating for nine months, we’ve needed at least five years for all the previous agreements, we are going to give every chance to this agreement… which is still possible.

“A good, balanced agreement. That means two conditions which aren’t met yet. Free and fair competition… and an agreement which guarantees reciprocal access to markets and waters. And it’s on these points that we haven’t found the right balance with the British. So we keep working.”

After the meeting, Mr Barnier tweeted: “It is our responsibility to give the talks every chance of success.

“Never before has such a comprehensive agreement (trade, energy, fisheries, transport, police & judicial cooperation, etc) been negotiated so transparently and in such little time.

“The next few days are important, if a EU-UK deal is to be in place on January 1, 2021.

“Fair competition, and a sustainable solution for our fishermen and women, are key to reaching a deal.”

Raising hopes of a future relationship pact, the Brussels diplomat told EU27 ambassadors that progress had been made by both sides over the weekend on the so-called level playing field. The Frenchman said they had moved closer to a deal on enforcing the rules to ensure free and fair competition if Britain decides to not follow the EU’s regulations in the future. After a weekend of wrangling, Mr Barnier added that EU and UK officials are still yet to find an agreement over future controls over state subsidies for industry.

An EU diplomat said there had been “backtracking” by the British in the row over future access to our coastal waters for European boats.

The insider said Mr Barnier had described “some limited progress” in the discussions between the EU and UK over the weekend. 

 A UK source hit back at claims the country’s negotiators were “backtracking” in the discussions over fishing quotas.

“Just not true,” they said.

It is understood that British officials have dug their heels in on fish after offering minor concessions on the so-called “level playing field”.

The Reuters news agency reported one EU diplomat as saying Mr Barnier was “guarded” in his debrief to EU envoys on the state of play in the Brexit talks.

The source added: “Patient still alive … but keep the undertaker on speed dial.”

Ahead of the meeting, Mr Barnier told journalists a trade deal remains possible in the coming days.

He said: “We’ve only been negotiating for nine months, we’ve needed at least five years for all the previous agreements, we are going to give every chance to this agreement… which is still possible.

“A good, balanced agreement. That means two conditions which aren’t met yet. Free and fair competition… and an agreement which guarantees reciprocal access to markets and waters. And it’s on these points that we haven’t found the right balance with the British. So we keep working.”

After the meeting, Mr Barnier tweeted: “It is our responsibility to give the talks every chance of success.

“Never before has such a comprehensive agreement (trade, energy, fisheries, transport, police & judicial cooperation, etc) been negotiated so transparently and in such little time.

“The next few days are important, if a EU-UK deal is to be in place on January 1, 2021.

“Fair competition, and a sustainable solution for our fishermen and women, are key to reaching a deal.”

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1372193/Michel-Barnier-brexit-update-EU-meeting-Boris-Johnson-fishing-demands-latest

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