EU finally makes Brexit intentions clear! Boris given choice – hand over waters or NO DEAL
THE EU will block any free-trade agreement with Britain unless Boris Johnson agrees to guarantee access for European boats to the country’s fishing grounds, Germany today warned.
Brexit: Fishing is ‘politically extremely important’ says expert
European affairs minister Michael Roth said the future relationship hinged on a comprehensive fisheries pact to manage “common resources”. Addressing the European Parliament, he said: “We do understand that the UK wants certain advantages for its own fishermen, for its own fisheries industry. “But, common resources need to be managed together in a sustainable way, which means we cannot accept that the UK would exclude EU fisheries efforts from its territorial waters all together.”
The German minister’s warning comes as crunch Brexit talks between David Frost and Michel Barnier are held in London in an attempt to break the deadlock.
In a bleak briefing of Berlin’s expectations, Mr Roth said: “We fear we might be running out of time to some extent.”
He added: “No progress has been made for quite some time and we observe that the UK is now moving away from what we had agreed on a long time ago as the basis for the negotiations.
Germany’s Michael Roth warns of no-deal Brexit unless UK surrenders access to fishing grounds
European affairs minister Michael Roth was addressing the EU Parliament
“Now that doesn’t mean the EU is changing its stance.”
He said Mr Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, would not back down in his efforts to keep Britain tied to the bloc’s standards.
“We need to protect the interests of our environment, our economy and our workers,” Mr Roth said.
Boris Johnson wants to secure a significant boost for UK fishermen after Brexit
“And that is a very clear position taken by our chief negotiator Michel Barnier.”
Downing Street insisted its negotiators would continue to reject EU demands for continued access to Britain’s fishing grounds and control over its state subsidies policy.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said bloc should agree to tackle the simplest issues to help break the deadlock.
David Frost and Michel Barnier during the last round of trade talks
“An agreement is still possible and is our goal but it is clear it will not be easy to achieve. The EU is still insisting not only that we must accept continuity with EU state aid and fisheries policy but also that this must be agreed before any further work can be done in any other area of the negotiations including on legal texts making it very difficult to make progress,” the spokesman said
“We will continue to work hard to reach agreement and look forward to the next round taking place next week.
“The EU continues to insist that we must agree on difficult areas in the negotiations such as EU state aid before any further work can be done in any other area in the negotiation including on legal texts. That makes it very difficult to make progress.
Meanwhile in a boost for the Prime Minister, France declared the bloc would still continue to trade with Britain after a no-deal Brexit.
Contemplating the impact of a no-deal scenario, European affairs minister Clement Beaune said: “This does not prevent trade, but there are a number of barriers, such as customs duties.
“It is in our interest to limit friction, but we will not do so at the price of not respecting the rules.”
Mr Beaune is one of President Emmanuel Macron’s most influential advisers, and was recently promoted to the ministerial ranks after his work on the UK’s EU divorce talks.
“Things are not progressing very well,” Mr Beaune warned, echoing the bloc’s growing pessimism that the Brexit talks will collapse without a trade and security partnership.
“The United Kingdom wants to leave the European Union and should therefore no longer have access to the European market.
“We cannot have access to the European market without respecting the sanitary, environmental… rules of the community. The no deal is a risk.”
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