The EU have been told that the UK will not give up British fishing waters after Michel Barnier called for a delay in the transition period.
Barnier said the “clock was ticking” and us urging the British government to extend the 31 December post Breixt transition period and continue with Brussels rules.
The chief EU negotiator said, “The UK cannot refuse to extend the position, and at the same time, slow down discussions on important areas.
“The UK cannot impose this short, brief timeline, and at the same time not budget to make progress on the topics that are of importance to the EU.”
Barnier said on Friday he has made it “crystal clear” he will not reach any agreement unless there is progress on fisheries.
He said, “The EU will not agree any future economic partnership that does not include a balanced, sustainable and long-term solution on fisheries, that is crystal clear.”
EU leaders have pressured Barnier to secure a deal over Britain’s fishing waters as part of a deal.
A UK government spokesman said, “This was a full and constructive negotiating round, conducted remotely by video conference, and with a full range of discussions across all the issues, on the basis of the extensive legal texts provided by both sides in recent weeks.
“However, limited progress was made in bridging the gaps between us and the EU.
“Our assessment is that there was some promising convergence in the core areas of a Free Trade Agreement, for example on goods and services trade, and related issues such as energy, transport, and civil nuclear cooperation.
“We regret however that the detail of the EU’s offer on goods trade falls well short of recent precedent in FTAs it has agreed with other sovereign countries.
“This considerably reduces the practical value of the zero tariff zero quota aspiration we both share.
“There are also significant differences of principle in other areas. For example we will not make progress on the so called ‘level playing field’ and the governance provisions until the EU drops its insistence on imposing conditions on the UK which are not found in the EU’s other trade agreements and which do not take account of the fact that we have left the EU as an independent state.
“On fisheries, the EU’s mandate appears to require us to accept a continuance of the current quotas agreed under the Common Fisheries Policy.
“We will only be able to make progress here on the basis of the reality that the UK will have the right to control access to its waters at the end of this year.
“We now need to move forward in a constructive fashion.
“The UK remains committed to a deal with a free-trade agreement at its core.
“We look forward to negotiating constructively in the next round beginning on 11 May and to finding a balanced overall solution which reflects the political realities on both sides.”
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