Brexit news: Macron warned that he had badly judged Boris and that France was pushing the UK not to make a deal | Politics | News


The French president asked EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to maintain his firm stance on continued access to UK waters for EU fisheries under current conditions. But after months of trade negotiations, Brussels and the UK remain at odds on the issue just weeks from the end of the European transition period.

Both sides have stood firm in the hope that the other might give in to their demands.
Now Lord Hague has warned France and other EU countries that it would be wrong to assume Boris Johnson has the political capacity to bend to their will on fisheries.

He wrote in an opinion piece today: “President Macron and others could easily misunderstand Boris Johnson’s leeway on this issue.

“History will not judge them with kindness if there is no agreement on the insistence that the rights to fish in another country’s seas can hardly be changed. ”


Under current EU rules – to which the UK remains bound until the end of the year – more than 60 percent of fish caught in UK waters come from foreign vessels.

Lord Hague understands better than anyone the difficulties the Prime Minister faces in convincing his MPs that he has achieved a good trade deal with the EU.

Between 1997 and 2001, Lord Hague was the leader of the Tories and was tasked with keeping the party united amid infighting and factions.

After years of Tory backbench rebellions over House of Commons votes on Brexit, Mr Johnson faces the challenge of making a deal that will be backed in a vote by his MPs.

READ MORE: Von der Leyen sends Boris last minute Brexit warning

“Its vessels are currently limited to a tiny fraction of the catch in certain products, such as seven percent of Celtic Sea cod, while 40 percent of the cod in this region is thought to be found in the British waters.

“Seen in this light, the EU’s offers to increase Britain’s share of the catch by small percentages do not amount to much. ”

It is understood that last week Mr Barnier made an offer to David Frost, his British counterpart, to increase Britain’s fishing prices from 15 to 18 percent. I order to force an agreement.

No10 immediately rejected the proposed compromise, calling it “laughable”.

There are only a few days left to strike a deal in time for it to be ratified before the end of the transition period on December 31.

Mr Barnier and Lord Frost are meeting this week in London in what is seen as the last chance available to secure a deal.

But with no sign of progress in sight, Lord Hague called on the Prime Minister and EU leaders to step in to strike a deal, warning that it would be “a failure of political policy” not to find a solution.

He said: “It is surely time for the Prime Minister and his European counterparts to speak out and resolve the remaining differences in a way their people have a right to expect”.


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