Brexit: Expert on why fisheries is 'blocking progress' in talks
Wokingham MP John Redwood said after years of access even since the 2016 Brexit vote it was time to put the foot down and “take back control”. Mr Redwood has demanded the UK should cut ties with the EU and seek a no deal exit as trade talks rumble on. Both sides have said they want a deal but time is running out to find a compromise on outstanding issues including fishing arrangements before the end of the transition period on December 31. Mr Redwood praised Mr Johnson and his chief negotiator Lord David Frost for not giving in to the EU’s demands so far.
He said on Twitter: “Glad the UK is insisting on controlling our laws, fish, taxes and state aids.
“We voted to be independent, not for a compromise.
“Free trade Agreement or No deal are the options.”
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier admitted this morning that fishing was the current “difficulty” in talks
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He said: “I personally think it wouldn’t be fair or acceptable that fishermen have no transitory right in UK waters.”
But Mr Redwood hit back that the EU had already had years to benefit from UK waters after Britain voted to leave the bloc in 2016.
He tweeted: “The EU has just had four and half more years of over fishing our seas.
“That’s a long transition. Time to take back control.”
The UK is aiming to prevent the EU having unfettered access to its waters after the transition period.
However, the EU has demanded three months’ notice for its fleet, with the possibility of compensation or the chance to retaliate.
Mr Barnier said this morning that “just a few hours” remained for negotiations to reach a trade deal with Britain.
He told the European Parliament in Brussels: “It’s the moment of truth.
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“We have very little time remaining, just a few hours to work through these negotiations in a useful fashion if we want this agreement to enter into force on the first of January.
“There is a chance of getting an agreement but the path to such an agreement is very narrow.”
Meanwhile, Britain’s schools minister Nick Gibb said the UK is ready for no deal.
He said this morning: “It is a very serious situation.
“We will test every route to seeking a free trade agreement with the European Union, but we cannot do so at the expense of our national sovereignty.
“The EU will have to move if we are going to secure that deal… We’ll test every route, but we are prepared for a no free trade deal arrangement.”
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last night assess the current state of negotiations.
Mr Johnson’s office said time was running out and the EU had to change its position substantially.
He tweeted afterwards: “I spoke to Ms von der Leyen this evening on UK-EU negotiations, stressing time is short and the EU position needed to change substantially.”
Ms Von der Leyen added progress had been made but bridging the divide on some areas, especially fisheries, would be “very challenging”.
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