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With the EU failing to back down over its demands to have continued access to the UK’s waters, Britain’s new ambassador, Jill Gallard, has labelled Brussels’ desire as “unacceptable”. Ms Gallard also called on the EU to offer some compromise on its demands if a deal is to be agreed. Despite issuing her threats to the EU, she also expressed her confidence a deal will be agreed between the two sides.
She told German publication, Dusseldorf Rheinische Post: “I also have to be clear that the status quo on the issue of fishing rights in the North Sea is not acceptable to the British Government.
“With EU standards such as subsidies and compliance with environmental and labour law provisions, we cannot accept that we have to enter into obligations that third countries such as Canada are not fulfilling.
“But the EU side also has to move.”
Now an independence nation out of the EU, the UK wants to be able to determine access and quotas shares for our own waters.
The EU, however, wants to maintain current agreements seen with the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which allows EU fleets equal access to the bloc exclusive economic zone.
Within that zone, lies the Northeast Atlantic which has some of the richest and most plentiful fish stocks.
UK waters also occupy parts of this zone while French, Dutch and Danish fleets also catch much more fish than British fishermen in EU waters.
In comparison, figures from think-tank, The UK in a Changing EU, showed French fishermen made £171million from Britain’s waters.
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The UK on the other hand managed a value of just £88million from European waters.
Due to this discrepancy, the issue of fisheries had remained one of the largest areas of divergence between the two sides.
The two sides entered talks this week with time now running out for a deal to be agreed before the end of the transition period on January 1.
With time now short, Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Gove called the EU’s desire over UK waters as “unfair”.
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He also referenced the EU’s desire for Britain to be tied to European regulations despite leaving the bloc.
He told Sky News this morning: “There are three, the first is fisheries.
“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.
“We do not think that is fair.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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