End game: EU gives UK fishing ultimatum as Brexit reaches climax
THE European Union's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, warned British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he would have to accept limits on access to the single market in return for greater control over fishing, reports Bloomberg
28 December 2020 - 05:24
'If the UK wants to cut access to these waters for European fishermen, at any given time, then the EU also has to maintain its sovereign right to react or to compensate by adjusting the conditions for products, and notably fisheries products, to the single market,' said Mr Barnier.
Although the fishing industry only makes up 0.1 per cent of UK GDP, Johnson's government sees it as a symbol of national sovereignty.
The EU hopes the UK will grant European boats better access to its waters in return for doing business with the bloc in other areas.
'We're at the moment of truth. We have very few hours left if we want an agreement,' said Mr Barnier.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Johnson feels the EU's position on fisheries isn't reasonable and that if there plans to be an agreement, it needs to change significantly.
'The UK could not accept a situation where it was the only sovereign country in the world not to be able to control access to its own waters for an extended period,' said Mr Johnson.
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