Earlier this week, Brussels was accused by Downing Street of “wishful thinking” following claims that the UK may be ready to change its fishing expectations and demands from the EU’s standards alignment bloc. ‘European Union. However, also speaking this week, Barrie Deas, director general of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations (NFFO), suggested that a compromise was likely – as well as doubts about whether the UK would be able to reacquire fishing quotas that currently belong to EU-based companies.
David Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator, and Michel Barnier, his counterpart, resumed negotiations this week, with a high-level diplomatic source who said: “There is only one way to go. move things forward and it is for the British side to move, then, as Frost knows very well, the EU will also move. “
More specifically, the EU hopes that the United Kingdom will lower its expectations regarding the trade rules of “fair rules of the game” if the European Union does the same with its requirements related to regulatory alignment and access to British waters.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It is wishful thinking of the EU.
“We have always been clear, it is not a question of distributing the difference on an equal footing with the fish.
“We do not compromise on these points because our position on this matter is fundamental for an independent country.
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“It is a nuclear option and would be extremely detrimental to the EU as well as to the UK, which is why I think there will be a compromise at some point because it is in the interests of parties ”.
A compromise could be based on ensuring that European fleets can fish in British waters but not on the same quota shares as before, he added.
However, he also warned that it would be difficult in the short term for the UK government to buy back the quotas currently held by EU-based companies, describing this as a “second rate issue”.
Speaking to Express.co.uk afterwards, Mr Deas explained: “The main objective must be for the United Kingdom to secure its position as an independent coastal state in the ongoing negotiations with the EU.
“The government has indicated its intention to review its requirements for economic link licenses which require vessels to land more than 50 percent of its catch abroad.
“I think for the time being this will be the approach taken until we know what the UK’s more general approach is to incoming investment and investment in fishing assets in particular, whether they were acquired by purchase or following the allocation policy. ”
However, any perception that the UK had given up would be fraught with political risk.
The Brexit Fishing For Leave campaign group tweeted on Sunday: “No deal should give way to the open position of the UK; total and unhindered sovereignty.
“No renewal of current operating accesses and quota shares.
“Any limited annual access ONLY when the reciprocal value of fishing opportunities is received. “