The United Kingdom called for fresh thinking from the European Union and criticized “high” proposals on fishing quotas amid heightened tensions as the two sides enter what could be the last week of trade negotiations after Brexit.
There was anger from the UK after reports surfaced that the EU could only accept a 15-18 per cent cut in its share of fishing rights in UK waters, underscoring the remoteness of the talks from the deal.
Understandably, the UK, led by chief negotiator Lord Frost, believes that the potential benefits of Brexit without a deal are underappreciated, despite dire warnings of the impact on business and the economy.
A source close to the negotiations said the UK would not “sell” its sovereignty.
They said, “In the coming days we will continue to negotiate with creativity and intensity. We hope that the European Union will bring some new thinking because what we have seen so far does not cut it. They should understand that we will not sell our sovereignty.”
A government source added: “These numbers (about fishing) are ridiculous, and the European side knows very well that we will never accept that. There seems to be a failure by the Commission to understand the scale of change required when we become an independent country.”
However, it is understood that a potential path that has emerged could pave the way for agreement on one of the other major sticking points, namely, equal opportunity.
Face-to-face Brexit negotiations have resumed in London, just over a month before the end of the transition period on December 31.
However, he believes there are growing doubts among other European Union countries about the prospects for a deal.
Home Secretary Priti Patel indicated that UK ministers were still ready to leave even at this late hour.
She said the government is committed to ensuring that the Brexit talks are “final”.
“But at the same time, we are preparing the way our country expects that we will prepare for the end of the transition period.”
Earlier, French MP Pierre Karleskind, who chairs the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, defended the fishing proposal.
“I have asked your companies to access the European Union’s Common Market, and we are asking our fishermen to access your waters … It is reciprocal,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.
Lord Frost said Friday that any deal must respect UK sovereignty.
This isn’t just a word – it has practical consequences. This includes: setting our limits; Decide on a robust and principled support monitoring system; And control of our fishing waters. ”
Boris Johnson also stressed his commitment to reaching a Brexit deal that respects the UK’s sovereignty in a call with Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin.
Understandably, the UK government believes that the crisis point of the talks, when it becomes clear whether or not a deal can be struck, could come within days.
Chaos is to be expected in British ports whether or not a deal is struck.
However, the lack of a deal is expected to further damage the UK economy.