Brexit news: Row erupts as BBC host blasts German MEP over fishing rights – ‘Norway does!’ | UK | News (Reports)


The German MEP claimed the European Parliament is seeking a “comprehensive Brexit trade agreement” with the UK that must include a deal on fisheries. Mr McAllister, from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, argued the fisheries agreement could not be based on annual quota. He told BBC Radio 4 host Mishal Husain: “The European Parliament seeks a comprehensive trade agreement that includes an agreement on fisheries.

“The agreement on fisheries cannot be disconnected from the overall economic partnership.

“And what we’re saying is that this agreement should be balanced, sustainable and provide long-term arrangements.

“So the fisheries agreement from our point of view cannot be based on annual quota. That simply wouldn’t be able to be implemented.”

But the German MEP was quickly challenged by the BBC host who blasted: “Sorry, but why not?

“Norway does that every year!”

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He replied: “Yes, but we’re talking about so many different fish species in all these British waters that most people who are engaged in the fishing industry say that this just wouldn’t be practical.

“It would be very heavily bureaucratic.”

It comes as the UK’s chief negotiator has called for “more realism” from the EU on the eve of crunch negotiations to broker a post-Brexit trade deal.

Lord Frost said the two sides “can no longer afford to go over well-trodden ground” in the deadlocked talks, as he warned progress must be made this week to get an agreement in place for the end of the transition period.

He was speaking ahead of a meeting with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier for the eighth round of talks beginning in London on Tuesday.

Downing Street has sought to increase pressure on Brussels, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson setting a five-week deadline for trade talks to succeed in time for the transition’s end on December 31.

But talks were set for a collision course over new Brexit legislation which has dismayed senior EU figures, who are concerned it could override key elements of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Lord Frost said: “Today, I will sit down with Michel Barnier and drive home our clear message that we must make progress this week if we are to reach an agreement in time.

“We have now been talking for six months and can no longer afford to go over well-trodden ground.

“We need to see more realism from the EU about our status as an independent country.”

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He said the UK’s position derives from the “fundamentals of being a sovereign state” and called for the EU to “fully recognise this reality”.

“If they can’t do that in the very limited time we have left then we will be trading on terms like those the EU has with Australia, and we are ramping up our preparations for the end of the year,” Lord Frost added.

Senior EU figures reacted angrily after it was reported the Government was set to table new legislation which could override key elements of the Withdrawal Agreement that sealed the UK’s departure from the bloc in January.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the Government was proposing “limited clarifications” to the law to ensure ministers can preserve the gains of the Good Friday Agreement in the event of no deal.

The Internal Market Bill to be tabled on Wednesday will ensure goods from Northern Ireland continue to have unfettered access to the UK market while making clear EU state aid rules, which will continue to apply in Northern Ireland, will not apply in the rest of the UK.

In addition, an amendment to the Finance Bill will give ministers the power to designate which goods going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland are considered “at risk” of entering the EU single market and are therefore liable to EU tariffs.


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