Brexit news: Former MEP warns the level playing field real issued in talks not fisheries | UK | News (Reports)


The issues of fisheries and the level playing field have remained two of the main areas of divergence between the UK and EU. While acknowledging the importance of Britain reclaiming its waters post-Brexit, former Social Democrat MEP for the East of England, Patrick O’Flynn claimed the level playing field is the “real guts” of negotiations. Brussels has demanded the UK sign up to measures involved with the level playing field, such as state aid and environmental standards.

However, Mr O’Flynn claimed any alignment with the EU on the level playing field will constrain the future of Britain’s economy.

The former MEP also criticised the bloc for demanding the UK sign up to measures when it has not done so during other trade deals.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he said: “This is the real guts of Brexit.

“The EU has been content to sign free trade deals with many other countries that do not constrain its trading partners on any of these issues.

“Yet Britain, allegedly on grounds of our economic clout and geographic proximity, is being treated more harshly.

“Any restrictions at all that Britain signs up to will mean diluting sovereignty to some extent.

“Many of us are not quite absolutists on this front and could be prepared to go along with some limits if we judge the rewards to be worth it.”

In a parting shot to the Prime Minister, the former MEP also warned Boris Johnson must avoid the dreaded “Brexit in name only”.

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That offer was made on the proviso of some movement from the EU on fisheries.

Mr Barnier, however, remained defiant on the matter following a call with French President, Emmanuel Macron.

Instead of agreeing to the UK’s desire of annual negotiations or at least a high return of quotas, Mr Barnier put forward a 10-year window of access for EU fleets.

Due to this, talks were suspended on Friday before being restarted this week.

Mr Johnson and EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, held a second call today to discuss matters.

Both sides are running out of time to agree a deal before the end of the transition period on January 1.


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