UK government says it will ‘never accept’ EU’s Brexit proposals for fisheries

PUBLISHED: 15:05 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:05 30 April 2020

EU Chief Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier (centre) in Downing Street ahead of a meeting with Boris Johnson. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

EU Chief Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier (centre) in Downing Street ahead of a meeting with Boris Johnson. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The UK has said it will ‘never accept’ the proposals the European Union is putting forward for fisheries after Brexit.

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A source close to the UK negotiating team said: “If they continue to insist on their position on a so-called level playing field and on continuing the Common Fisheries Policy, for example, we are never going to accept that.

“Draw your own conclusion from that but I hope they will move on.”

They added: “There are some fundamentals that we are not going to change, we are not going to move on because, not so much that they are negotiation positions, as they are what an independent state does.”

The source also has blamed Brussels for having made “limited progress” during the first round of negotiations on a future post-Brexit trade deal.


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The latest round of talks took place virtually due to the on-going coronavirus crisis, with the next meetings scheduled for May 11.

They said: “We made limited progress in bridging the gaps between us.

“We agree with (European Union chief negotiator, Michel) Barnier that there is little time, there is the need to make progress.

“What is clear to me is, if we were agreeing a standard Canada-style free trade agreement (FTA), we could do it quite quickly with quite a good understanding between the negotiators on the terms of an FTA.

“Of course there are negotiations to be had but people understand each other.

“But what is slowing us up is the EU’s insistence on extra provision, notably the level playing field area, aspects of governance and of course there is no meeting of minds on fisheries.”

The EU has reportedly started to ramp up preparations for a no-deal Brexit once again after a failure to reach a breakthrough in the latest rounds of talks.

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