The French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Franck Riseter, reiterated France’s position on fisheries. The politician said the EU did not want to secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK “at all costs” and highlighted areas where the bloc must stand firm.
“We have to guarantee the rule of origin, fair competition with the British to avoid dumping and state aid.
“We have to ensure governance between the EU and the UK, and we have to make sure our fishermen continue to have access to UK waters.”
Fishing is a major stumbling block in ongoing trade talks, which resumed this week after Boris Johnson walked away from the talks last Friday by saying the EU was unwilling to compromise.
Currently, European fishermen respect the fishing quotas established by the EU, which annually determine the percentage share of fishing stocks linked to their exclusive economic zones.
Britain wants a new system to be introduced once the country finally breaks ties with the bloc, which will give British fishermen more control over British waters.
The system proposed by the UK would include annual fishing negotiations and the calculation of opportunities using the zonal attachment method.
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In private meetings with heads of the fishing industry, the government hinted at a possible compromise in the row over a future EU-UK relations pact.
Ministers said fishermen should prepare for the impact after the post-Brexit transition period ends on December 31.
After the meeting, fishermen Jerome Vicquelin said: “I was pretty brutal and said, ‘Everything is fine and well you came, but I’m worried because… just a 10-15% reduction in the turnover… disaster in the long term.
“They were frank too. They said it wouldn’t be the same as before. To me it’s clear, they just want to try to limit the damage as much as possible. “
After the EU summit last week, Macron admitted that a no-deal Brexit would mean the loss of all access to UK waters.
He said: “If there is no deal, European fishermen will have no access to UK waters. This is the reality.
“If there is an agreement, will the situation be the same as it is today? No, for sure. ”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega