The issue of fisheries has been one of the largest areas of divergence between UK and EU officials. Due to France’s reliance on the UK’s waters, Emmanuel Macron has insisted European fishermen must be given continued access to fisheries. However, in response to Mr Macron’s demands, businessman and peer, Lord Digby Jones claimed the Prime Minister must not back down to the French President.
He said: “So Macron wants us to give French fishermen the same rights post-Deal as now.
“Of course he does; the French catch by far the most fish in our waters.
“But if we walk away with no deal Monsieur you get zilch.
“So isn’t it better to stop the hardball Gallic posturing?
“Push us too hard & you get a very dischuffed bunch of fisherman Emmanuel.
“Your problem, your call. Don’t budge Boris!”
The last round of formal talks concluded without any agreement on fisheries, although the UK’s chief negotiator, Lord David Frost did offer a three-year extension period.
Under the period, coastal communities would be given the time to adjust to the changing conditions.
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“We are preparing for all eventualities, and therefore also for a no-deal.”
Clement Beaune, France’s Europe minister, also claimed officials will be ready to go down to the wire in order to protect fisheries.
He told FranceInfo radio: “We must not lose our calm in the final days of negotiations because that is when you sometimes make bad concessions, bad compromises.”
Talks over fisheries and a wider agreement will continue this week.
The Prime Minister has stated any deal must be agreed by the EU summit on Friday.
However, some officials have insisted negotiations could go into November.
In order to agree a deal, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, met with fisheries ministers to ask them to drop their demands ahead of further talks.