They’re STILL not getting it! Macron ally insists EU must not ‘sacrifice’ fishing
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The French politician insisted the EU must not compromise on fishing – an outstanding sticking point in negotiations between Britain and Brussels – to reach an agreement. But Mr Pont, who represents Pas de Calais, also admitted no deal would be a “disaster” for the two sides.
Mr Pont said: “Fishing shouldn’t be sacrificed or used for bartering.
“Every time Barnier speaks he tells us there will be no agreement if there’s no agreement on fishing.
“For now this position is defended by the whole EU.
“A no deal would be a disaster – but also for the UK.”
Trade talks between the UK and the EU have been deadlocked over a number of remaining obstacles, including fishing.
Britain is insisting it will hold the right to control who can fish in UK waters when the transition period ends on December 31.
But the stance will likely result in a lower fish quota for European fishermen.
The UK reportedly offered Brussels a three-year transition period in a bid to break the deadlock.
The concession would see fishing quotas for EU trawlers gradually reduced between 2021 and 2024 to ease the effect that any loss would have on coastal communities on the continent.
In a statement after the final scheduled round of talks ended on Friday, Lord Frost warned of major differences between the two sides on fishing.
He said: “On fisheries the gap between us is unfortunately very large and, without further realism and flexibility from the EU, risks being impossible to bridge.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a video conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday.
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Following their conversation, the two leaders tasked their chief negotiators with working “intensively” in a final bid to reach a breakthrough.
Mr Johnson insisted an agreement was still possible but urged the EU to accept the UK will take back control of its fishing waters.
He told BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I think it’s there to be done. Alas, there are some difficult issues that need to be fixed.
“There is no question that the EU needs to understand that we’re utterly serious about needing to control our own laws and our own regulations.
“And similarly they need to understand that the repatriation of the UK’s fisheries which were lost in 1973 is very important.”
The Prime Minister added that the UK simply wants the same deal Brussels has already handed Canada.
Responding to a comment made by Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte that an agreement is a “geopolitical necessity”, Mr Johnson said: “Good for Mark, in which case I hope that they’ll agree to the deal that we’ve set out.
“I hope that they’ll agree to the deal that we’ve set out because it’s a very good deal for the EU.
“All we’re asking our friends and partners to offer terms that they’ve already offered to Canada which is you know a long way away from here.
“We’re very close to our European friends and partners, we’ve been members of the EU for 45 years, I see no reason why we shouldn’t get those sorts of terms.
“I don’t want the Australian-WTO type outcome, particularly, but we can more than live with it.”
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