The British and European negotiating teams are holding talks in Brussels this week. While the discussions have made little progress so far, the two sides appear more willing to compromise this time. According to Brussels sources, the UK has offered a three-year transition period for European fishing fleets to allow them to prepare for the post-Brexit changes as part of an 11th-hour deal sweetener.
The catches of EU fishermen would be “phased down” between 2021 and 2024 to offer time for European coastal communities to adapt to the changes.
The idea of a phase-down period had been floated previously but details had not been provided until recent days.
Nevertheless, issues on the so-called level playing field remain and earlier this month London made already strained relations worse by announcing plans to breach the legally binding divorce agreement it signed on its departure from the bloc.
The EU has responded by threatening legal action.
“It will be Brexit in name only.”
When asked why, Mr Chilton said: “Because I think the Government will concede on a lot more than people think.
“We were told the withdrawal agreement was the best thing ever and now it is not anymore.
“The same will happen with the trade deal.”