Brussels 'preparing to back down' over fishing quotas

Written by Liz Bates on 20 December 2017 in News

Fishing quotas concession may be offered, according to reports

Fishing vessel - PA

EU negotiators are preparing to compromise over controversial fishing quotas, it has been reported.

According to the Times, the UK may be able to opt out of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy during the two-year Brexit transition period.   

On Monday Theresa May told MPs she wanted the UK to be out of both the CFP and the Common Agricultural Policy after March 2019.

The newspaper has learned that despite saying publicly that Britain will be subject to the “complete architecture” of EU rules during the implementation phase, European leaders are privately preparing a climbdown.

A senior EU official said: “We are thinking about a fair play kind of solution. The important thing is that people don’t need to feel discriminated on the UK side.”

Fishing quotas were a high-profile issue during the EU referendum campaign, with leave supporters arguing that EU rules had been destructive for British firms. 

The news comes after a stark warning on financial services from the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier earlier this week.

He said Britain must “face the consequences” of leaving the bloc and would not be able to “cherry pick” the benefits of EU membership.

Elsewhere, an ex-MI6 chief has suggested that Brexit could severely damage Britain’s standing in the world.   

Speaking at the Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday, Sir John Sawers said: “We can see the trend of the coming years and we do not want to go through a repeat of the 1970s where the UK went progressively downhill compared to our national partners.

“We will need to turn it around. I am not sure how we are going to do it.”



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