Nicolas Bay also outlined the problems chief negotiator Michel Barnier faces when trying to represent 27 member states, admitting: “You can’t please everyone”. Mr Bay set out his views in an impassioned speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday, in which he suggested that a no-deal outcome would be “much worse for the EU than for the UK”.
“It is a priority for France as well as for the United Kingdom”.
Referring to the chamber of the European Parliament, he added: “When I am in the hemicycle, I speak as a French deputy, elected to defend the interests of France.
“As such, my speech is necessarily partisan, and it is all the more true that I am also elected to the Regional Council of Normandy.
“However, Norman fishermen have a critical need for access to British waters; the reverse is also true for certain products such as scallops. ”
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“And it is indeed by negotiating, so that everyone can best defend their needs, that we can reach a compromise that is beneficial for all”.
He added: “This is why the attitude of Germany, which has limited fishing interests, is shocking.
“Berlin seems ready to sacrifice French fishing in the name of an agreement that will maximize German profits in other sectors like the automotive industry!
“This is the whole downside of this kind of negotiations, which we must first do between us, the 27.
“You can put the national interest first, but we can’t please everyone. ”
Access to UK waters after Brexit is a key sticking point.
While talks are expected to continue throughout the weekend, hopes are growing over the prospects for a deal between the UK and the EU.
Sources have suggested that the French president is easing his stance on French vessel fishing rights after Brexit.
Express.co.uk understands that it has prepared the French fishing industry to agree to a reduction in UK waters quotas – although such a compromise is unlikely to impress Mr Bay.