On Friday, Michel Barnier announced that the last round of Brexit negotiations had not yet resulted in “no progress”, as he noted that the negotiations on fisheries and other key issues remained deadlocked. Barnier has worked on behalf of European Union member states to ensure that their vessels still have access to British fishing waters once Britain is completely out of the water. But Barrie Deas, director general of the British National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations, has renewed the industry’s commitment not to “capitulate” to demands from Brussels.
“It just won’t happen.
“It is an asymmetrical relationship that benefits EU fleets and, unsurprisingly, they want to hold on to it. “
While fishing contributes around 3% of the UK’s overall GDP, some EU coastal countries are highly dependent on industry and have seen Brexit as a threat to the livelihoods of thousands of fishermen.
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At the start of Brexit talks, Denmark begged the UK to consider much of the fishery, as it warned of the “serious” consequences its fleets would face if the agreement was changed current.
A study by the University of Copenhagen published last month painted a bleak picture of the future of Danish fishermen, with three different scenarios predicting losses between 66% and 82%.
The complete exclusion of British waters was considered the worst case, with researchers saying that such a result would decimate Danish landing values by 57% and profits by more than three-quarters.
Number 10 earlier this week accused Brussels of “wishful thinking” over its belief that the UK would make concessions on fishing.
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Updating the Brussels press kit on Friday, Barnier confirmed that the UK has refused to budge on several issues, including fishing.
The French negotiator said: “Regarding fishing, the United Kingdom has shown no real desire to explore other approaches, beyond zonal attachment.
“I don’t think we can go on like this forever. “
But British negotiator David Frost insisted that the British team is ready to work hard to ensure that a good deal is reached in a timely manner as long as Brussels recognizes its commitment to fulfill its own mandate.
Responding to Mr. Barnier in a letter, Mr. Frost said: “For our part, we are ready to work hard to see if at least the main lines of a balanced agreement, covering all issues, can be reached soon.
“Any such agreement must, of course, take into account the reality of the well-established position of the United Kingdom on the so-called” level playing field “, on fishing and other difficult issues. “