Brexit LIVE: Barnier and Frost reach compromise on fishing – that will anger Leave voters
A POST-BREXIT trade deal between the UK and the European Union is now on the brink of being reached after it emerged both sides have moved closer towards a compromise on fishing, in a move which will anger Leave voters.
Boris Johnson told to ‘take back your fishing waters’ by MEP
The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier have been locked in discussions over the weekend in Brussels. Outstanding issues over fishing, state aid subsidies and the so-called “level playing field” on competition remained at the forefront of talks.
With less than two months to go until the official end of the Brexit transition period, it is understood a major climb-down has been made on access to UK waters.
The Prime Minister had vowed to leave the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and take back control of UK waters, but it is thought European boats will now be able to fish in UK territories next year.
Britain has pressed for fishing quotas to be negotiated annually but the EU has so far rejected this proposal and are seeking more concrete reassurances on fishing in UK waters.
Brexit live: A trade deal between the UK and EU is edging closer
Brexit news: David Frost and Michel Barnier are locked in trade talks
In a bid to secure a wider trade deal, it is understood the finer details on quotas could be delayed until a later date, which would then allow EU fishermen to continue plundering UK fishing waters from January 1, 2021.
French President Emmanuel Macron has been pilling the pressure on Mr Barnier to walk away from a deal if there is no agreement on fishing.
France’s Europe Minister, Clement Beaune, has said fisheries is “equally important for both of us, France and the UK, the EU and the UK”.
Brexit news: A timeline of trade talks between the UK and EU
He added: “Let’s try to find a solution which respects both interests.
“I think it’s possible.”
Brexit talks between Mr Frost and Mr Barnier will resume in the Belgian capital today.
11.50am update: Biden links to Ireland could affect Brexit deal – expert warns
Joe Biden could intervene in Brexit talks if he wins the US election due to his close links to Ireland, a former Number 10 chief has indicated.
The Democrat Presidential nominee has previously warned he will not let the Good Friday Agreement become a “casualty of Brexit” after Boris Johnson threatened to re-open the withdrawal Agreement.
Tom Fletcher, a former senior foreign policy advisor in Downing Street, told Sky News: “I think Biden clearly has strong sentimental links to Ireland.
“He will be more interested in what’s happening this side of Atlantic. He had a close working relationship with the UK system.”
The European Commission has threatened legal action against the UK for failing to remove a number of bilateral treaties from domestic law.
The European Commission said it would haul the Prime Minister before the European Court of Justice unless Downing Street agrees to the changes.
Britain is currently obliged to follow the EU’s rulebook before its transition from the bloc ends on December 31. In its monthly round-up of legal action
Brexit news: A map of EU national most reliant on UK waters
10.30am update: Scottish Conservative leader hits out at Boris’s handling of Brexit
The leader of the Scottish Conservatives has hit out at Boris Johnson’s handling of Brexit and claimed it has undermine the Union.
Douglas Ross says the Westminster Government has failed to unite the country since the 2016 EU referendum and criticised the “winner takes it all approach”.
He said: “There is no getting away from the fact that Brexit and how it has been delivered has undermined the perception that there are common shared values that unite us.
“We failed to bring our country back together again after the vote. Leave and Remain parts still feel divided more than four years on from the decision.
“We did not build a consensus around delivering Brexit. Instead there has been a ‘winner takes it all’ approach.”
10.00am update: UK business chief issues no deal warning to Boris
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, has warned the Government against leaving the EU without a trade deal as the UK battles a second wave of coronavirus.
Ms Fairbairn said it would be “unconscionable” for the UK to exit the bloc at the end of the Brexit transition period without an agreement.
She added: “I’ve always felt and argued that a good deal was an economic necessity, I now think it’s a moral necessity as well.”
Boris Johnson has been warned against a no deal Brexit
Nigel Farage will rebrand the Brexit Party
9.45am update: Brexit Party to relaunch – would you vote for Nigel Farage’s new political movement?
Nigel Farage will relaunch the Brexit Party as an anti-lockdown group called Reform UK. So would you vote for the new political movement?
9.20am update: Brexiteer Ben Habib says there is zero chance Boris will agree to no deal
Brexiteer Ben Habib has conceded there is zero chance of Boris Johnson perusing a no deal Brexit with the EU.
He said: “I think there is no prospect of, what I would call, a proper no deal exit on December 31.
“Because of that I am convinced that Boris Johnson will be working very hard to do a deal with the EU.
“This is because he doesn’t want pernicious effects of the Northern Ireland protocol to be starkly revealed.
“The details would be revealed in the event of not having a future trading relationship with the entire United Kingdom.”
Ben Habib has cast serious doubt over whether Boris Johnson will pursue no deal Brexit
9.00am update: BBC’s Katya Adler says mood in Brussels is ‘cautiously optimistic’ over Brexit deal
In a post on Twitter, BBC Europe Editor Katya Adler said: “Trade talks continue in Brussels today.
“EU+UK negotiators now in media block-out tunnel as they hammer out the toughest issues. Public silence is generally seen as a sign of progress – or at least of concerted efforts by both sides. The mood: cautiously optimistic.”
8.20am update: Farage says he will ‘continue to keep a very close eye’ on Brexit amid the launch of Reform UK
Nigel Farage will not take his eye off trade negotiations with the EU as he prepares to wind down the Brexit Party and launch an anti-lockdown movement called Reform UK.
Mr Farage said: “As promised, we continue to keep a very close eye on the Government’s trade negotiations with the EU, to ensure a proper Brexit.
“Further reform in many other areas is also vital for our nation’s future.”
8.07am update: Farage set to rename Brexit Party
Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, has applied to the Electoral Commission to change its name to Reform UK.
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