Michel Barnier to tell UK that EU will water down stance on fishing rights
MICHEL Barnier will tomorrow tell Britain that he will water down the EU stance on fishing rights.
The bloc’s Brexit negotiator will defy French calls for him to remain firm on status quo access to our waters.
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The EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is prepared to back down on fishing rights [/caption]
Brussels has billed the next few days as a “moment of truth” and called for “significant steps” towards compromise from UK negotiator David Frost.
Council chief Charles Michel declared: “Progress has been made but it’s not enough.”
Irish PM Micheal Martin hailed a better mood and greater engagement on key issues.
But he also said the time has come for the UK to reciprocate Mr Barnier’s offers. The remarks come amid growing optimism in Downing Street that Boris Johnson’s deadline for an outline deal by next Friday can be met.
Yet France is still threatening to derail those hopes by sticking to the hard line over fishing.
Its Europe minister Clement Beaune said: “Our fishermen will not be a bargaining chip and pay the price for UK choices. We’ll not accept a bad compromise.”
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But EU diplomats said French President Emmanuel Macron is isolated. Mr Barnier told a meeting of 27 EU ambassadors the bloc must soften its position on this issue to get an agreement.
Boris Johnson has risked riling Eurosceptics with a compromise plan to link security ties to obeying the European Convention on Human Rights.
The deal would give Brussels the right to cut off extradition and data sharing over breaches.
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