Brexit: Fishing talks could rumble on ‘as late as December’
Thursday, July 09, 2020, 16:40 (GMT + 9)
Fishing deal talks with the European Union could rumble on as late as December, environment secretary George Eustice told peers as he admitted the gap between negotiating positions “remained quite wide”.
Since the start of trade talks in January the EU has demanded “status quo” access to UK waters, which would essentially mean a continuation of the common fisheries policy – something that has been categorically rejected by Boris Johnson.
Mr Eustice, appearing before a House of Lords committee, said there was “still some way to go” in reaching an agreement but offered one note of optimism.
“Our sense is that there might be a slight change from the EU because I think they’re starting to understand the international law in this area,” he said.
“I think they’re starting to understand that the starting point isn’t the common fisheries policy, the starting point is that we’re an independent coastal state”.
But he hastened to add that talks could run “as late as December”.
European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the negotiators are “working hard for a fair agreement” with the UK, including on the key sticking points of fisheries and the “level playing field” arrangements designed to prevent the UK undercutting the EU by lowering standards and increasing state subsidies.
Author: Daniel O'Donoghue / The Press and Journal | Read full article here