European Commission chief is said to have told Boris Johnson she recognised the UK’s status as an independent costal state after the end of the post-Brexit transition period. The German acknowledged that European boats do not have an automatic right to fish in British waters. Downing Street has always insisted the UK must reclaim control over its fishing grounds after December 31.
But Number 10 is willing to consider granting access to its closest partners based on annual negotiations over the shared quotas.
In a bid to break the deadlocked talks, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has been told to consider the UK’s proposal for fishing stocks to be shared using a zonal attachment method.
The system reflects where fish live and would mean British trawlermen would benefit for a larger chunk of the stocks residing in its exclusive economic zone.
A UK Government spokesman said: “During the fourth round of negotiations we continued to make our views on fishing clear. At the end of the year, we will be an independent coastal state and any agreement we reach with the EU must reflect that.
“We remain willing to work hard to reach a separate fisheries framework agreement with the EU as envisaged by the Political Declaration.
“The EU has maintained its position which seeks to tie a fisheries framework agreement to the wider FTA and maintain the status quo on access provisions and quota sharing. This is incompatible with our future status as an independent coastal state.
“We cannot agree arrangements that are manifestly unbalanced and against the interests of the UK fishing industry.”
Under the existing Common Fisheries Policy, EU boats catch five times more catch about five times the value of fish from UK waters than their British counterparts catch from European waters.
Express.co.uk can reveal British negotiators are using a white paper on “sustainable fisheries for future generations” that was published in 2018 to demonstrate to Brussels that the UK’s current quota share does not reflect fish present in UK waters.
European fishermen currently land 90 percent of haddock caught in the Celtic Sea, compared to the 10 percent handed to British boats.
They have been given permission to scope out a potential compromise after the Frenchman was blocked by hardline EU fishing states during the last round of negotiations.
EU countries, led by France, are understood to have stopped Mr Barnier from discussing potential concessions.
But the Brussels bureaucrat is yet to put forward any concrete offers on fisheries.
Published at Tue, 16 Jun 2020 10:02:00 +0000