The EU Defends An Economic Agreement After Brexit That Includes Fishing

The European Union (EU) negotiator for the future relationship with the United Kingdom, Michel Barnier, warned on Thursday that the economic agreement with the British after Brexit should include fishing, compared to the position of London, which requires negotiating a separate fishing pact. “A trade and economic agreement with the United Kingdom must include a balanced solution for fishing,” said the French politician at a press conference following the first round of negotiations on the relationship with the United Kingdom after his departure from the community bloc. . In responding to questions from journalists, Barnier was more blunt and said that the trade agreement will only be possible if it includes fishing. “For all Member States on behalf of which business, a balanced solution on fisheries must be part of the trade agreement, if we want a trade agreement,” he said. The former French minister recalled that the British do not want fishing to be part of the economic agreement, but instead seek to negotiate “in particular” reciprocal access to British and European waters “every year”, which he described as “absolutely impracticable” by the large number of species “What we can do with Norway with five species is not possible with a hundred species and it is not possible if we want to give all fishermen concerned on both sides a predictability they need,” he said. He said that the community club is “prepared” to achieve a solution to the fisheries issue, although he acknowledged that today he cannot say “with certainty what the result of this negotiation will be.” The EU claims to have agreed on the fisheries issue by July 1 and asked what would happen if on that date the matter has not been closed, Barnier replied that “the maximum” will be done to achieve it, but that if it has not been achieved in July, the following months will continue to be negotiated in that area. The European Union negotiator admitted that in this first round of talks “many very serious divergences” have been detected, which, on the other hand, he considered “natural” after a first exchange with the British. In that sense, together with fishing, he mentioned equal conditions to guarantee fair competition, judicial and police cooperation in criminal matters, as well as the governance of the pact on the future relationship. Asked if the outbreak of the coronavirus could affect the negotiating rounds, which will be held alternately between London and Brussels, Barnier said they will continue to face “this crisis” in a “very pragmatic” way, taking into account the decisions of the United Kingdom and the EU “depending on the evolution of this virus”. In any case, he noted that the circulation between Belgium and the United Kingdom for those who are healthy has not been limited and added that meetings in both countries have not been banned. He said, however, that he will act with caution.





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