Politics

Brexit LIVE: ‘We NEED their waters!’ EU admits panic as transition end just one month away

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With the transition period set to end in just over one month, the issue of fisheries remains one of the key areas of divergence which has so far blocked a deal. EU fleets rely heavily on British waters and, despite the UK now being an independent nation, fishing fleets have demanded continued access to the rich waters around Britain. Mr Barnier briefed MEPs on Friday following the conclusion of the week’s talks and was later warned he must agree a deal or fleets could suffer. 

Flemish Fisheries Minister, Hilde Crevits, insisted the negotiator must follow his mandate to maintain current access to UK waters for European fleets. 

She said: “The fisheries sector in Flanders is a small but important sector.

“It is very important that access to British waters is maintained in the future and that the current quota system is also maintained.”

Under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), EU fleets are given access to waters across the bloc’s economic zone. 

Due to the large and rich waters, British fishermen have warned the policy has allowed EU fleets to exploit the UK. 

In a bid to break the deadlock, the EU negotiator did offer the UK a return of 15-18 per cent in fishing quotas.

UK officials, however, rejected the proposal as it would allow EU fleets to maintain up to 80 percent of their current fishing stocks. 

Mr Barnier travelled to London over the weekend in order to resume talks as the two sides head into the final month of negotiations. 

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7.36am update: Government to announce seven-year plan for farming

Environment Secretary, George Eustice, will announce the UK’s seven-year plan for British farming post-Brexit today. 

Mr Eustice will announce a system which allows farming to be centred on sustainable practices. 

It will be announced farming will lead to a boost for animal stock standards and the biggest change in farming in 50 years, The Times reports. 

7.18am update: EU panic sets in over fisheries access 

Ahead of this week’s talks in London, EU ministers have reminded Michel Barnier of the need to continue access to UK waters. 

Due to the reliance on Britain’s waters, Flemish Fisheries Minister, Hilder Crevits claimed it is essential for Mr Barnier to uphold current access. 

She added: “The fisheries sector in Flanders is a small but important sector.

“It is very important that access to British waters is maintained in the future and that the current quota system is also maintained.”

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