Jeremy Vine shuts down Owen Jones over Brexit
With less than a month until the transition period ends on December 31, both sides are scrambling to secure a deal. But issues over fishing rights, governance and the level playing field have gridlocked talks.
Under the controversial Commons Fisheries Policy (CFP), all member states are given access to EU waters via quotas.
As the UK has a large coastal area, critics have often argued the system is unfair.
Fishing currently only makes up 0.1 percent of Britain’s economy but there are hopes this could increase after Brexit.
Mr Barnier’s offer to give back between 15 and 18 percent of all fish caught by EU vessels in British waters has been widely criticised.
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Now Express.co.uk is asking whether Boris should walk away from talks following Mr Barnier’s offer.
The EU’s offer would be worth just an estimated £105million (€117million).
But the ultimatum by Mr Barnier was attacked by UK ministers who claimed it was unacceptable for Britain.
Michael Gove lashed out at the offer and said the Government do not think the offer is “fair”.
He said: “The EU still wants to take the lion’s share of the fish in our waters which is just not fair given we are leaving the EU
“The second thing is that the EU still wants us to be tied to their way of doing things.
“The third thing is what happens if there is a dispute.
“The EU is at the moment reserving the right if there is a dispute, not quite to rip everything up, but really to impose some quite penal and tough restrictions on us.
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“We do not think that is fair.”
Over the weekend, German MEP Manfred Weber admitted Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds the fishing “leverage”.
He said: “Fishing is certainly Great Britain’s biggest leverage against the EU, because we are currently profiting a lot from the access to the fishing stocks.
“This is certainly the biggest leverage GB has.”
Mr Weber went on to explain how Norway is not a member of the EU but the bloc has managed to find “reasonable solutions” there.
He continued: “And you also shouldn’t overlook, that even if GB are to fish all the fish they own, they still have to sell it somewhere.
“Therefore the British also have an interest in having access to the EU single market to sell their fish.
“Therefore both sides have interests, and I want to repeat that it is now a question of common sense to keep the lose-lose situation, it is a lose-lose situation that GB is leaving, to keep it to a minimum.”
Negotiations are currently ongoing and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to hold another round of talks with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tonight.
The two agreed for a “final throw of the dice” in a bid to secure a trade deal before the end of the transition period this month.
Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen warned “no agreement is feasible” unless there is a movement of these issues.
Mr Barnier and Lord Frost are expected to return to the negotiating table this week in a bid to hammer out the final compromises.
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