Barnier rages in UK for keeping his cool on fishing during Brexit negotiations | Politics | News

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The European Union’s chief negotiator said the future pact of relations with Britain had to be completed by the end of October to be properly implemented. The Frenchman accused his British counterparts of not considering a “compromise on fisheries” and said the UK’s position had not changed since the start of the negotiations. “We are now less than four months from January 1, 2021,” he said.

“This is a day chosen by the UK itself for its economic and trade Brexit, following the political Brexit in January of this year. Because, as you know, the UK has refused any extension of the transition period – so we have no time to waste. “Mr Barnier criticized claims his team refused to discuss “room documents” on a future fisheries deal presented by UK negotiators in recent rounds of negotiations.

The Brussels bureaucrat claimed not to have seen such documents.

“The UK has shown no willingness to seek compromises on fisheries,” he said.

“The British government’s position has not been implicated in recent months – no new legal text has been tabled.

« Where the EU has shown openness to possible solutions, the UK has rejected our offers. ”

Mr Barnier insisted the bloc would reject any free trade deal without guaranteed access to UK fishing grounds.

In a furious speech he condemned the government for using fishing communities as bargaining chips and blamed the UK for the lack of progress.

He added: “We fully understand and respect that the UK will become an independent coastal state outside the Common Fisheries Policy, but we will not accept that the work and livelihoods of fishermen and women in the EU are used as currency. ”

After meeting Lord Frost, the Prime Minister’s chief Brexit negotiator, in London, Mr Barnier said the bloc could not move forward in talks without seeing plans for future UK state subsidy policy .

The Frenchman said: “We do not wish to interfere in the internal affairs of the United Kingdom.

“But how can we strike a long-term economic partnership agreement – between sovereign partners – without knowing what system of state aid or grants the UK will put in place?

“Without any assurance that the UK will not use its new regulatory autonomy to distort competition with us in the future?”

Ahead of the eighth round of trade talks in London next week, Mr Barnier also threw cold water on the chances of a breakthrough on the so-called “level playing field”.

He insisted that British negotiators were unfairly trying to gain the upper hand for British farmers, manufacturers, truckers and airlines.

“Without a common framework on state aid, the UK government would be free to distribute grants at will,” Barnier said.

“Not only to support the green economy, but also polluting industries.

“Not only to support the industries of the future, but also traditional sectors, such as steel and automotive – before exporting them, without tariffs or quotas, to our markets. “



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