For cod’s sake: Boris Johnson warns the EU he will NEVER surrender Britain’s fishing waters as Michel Barnier threatens to scupper trade deal
PM Boris Johnson last night drew a red line around Britain’s fishing waters EU yesterday made a series of demands in its new ‘negotiating mandate’
EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said without fish ‘there won’t be agreement’No 10 has said Mr Johnson’s priority is to ‘take back control’ of the UK’s borders
Boris Johnson last night warned Brussels he will never surrender Britain’s fishing grounds to the EU, as talks on a post-Brexit trade deal got off to an acrimonious start.
In its new ‘negotiating mandate’ yesterday, the EU made a series of demands which were immediately rejected by Downing Street.
These included a requirement for the UK to continue following Brussels rules, a ban on the UK negotiating a US trade deal that allowed in chlorinated chicken, and an insistence that EU fishing boats should retain their existing quotas in British waters.
The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that without a deal on fish ‘there won’t be any agreement at all’.
Boris Johnson last night warned Brussels he will never surrender Britain’s fishing grounds to the EU, as talks on a post-Brexit trade deal got off to an acrimonious start (pictured at Downing Street on Tuesday)
Launching the EU’s demands in Brussels, Mr Barnier said: ‘Fisheries is part of a package as regards our trade relations, which are to be discussed, and that package is one you can’t break up. There will be no ambiguity at all around that.
‘The trade agreement will be associated with a fisheries agreement and an agreement about a level playing field or there won’t be any agreement at all.’
But Downing Street said the Prime Minister would never sacrifice the UK’s fishing grounds – and suggested that access for EU trawlers would have to be negotiated separately from trade.
The PM’s official spokesman said: ‘The UK did not vote twice to take back control of its fishing waters only to give that control up again. It doesn’t matter what the EU puts in its negotiating mandate as we will become an independent coastal state at the end of this year.
‘This does not need to be negotiated, nor will it be. Any access by non-UK vessels to fish in UK waters will be for us to determine.’ No 10 also rejected the EU’s demand that Britain signs up to a ‘level playing field’ in which the UK agrees to abide by EU rules on issues like state aid and workers’ rights.
The PM’s spokesman said: ‘We have been very clear on our commitment to discuss open and fair competition as part of negotiations, but we will not accept any demands for the UK to follow EU rules, just as we would not expect the EU to accept UK laws.