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EU PANIC: Brussels makes plea for extended fishing rights in NO DEAL – crisis plans show

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The European Commission is working on a new regulation to create an “appropriate legal framework” to enable EU boats to access the UK’s fishing grounds. With the trade negotiations on the brink of collapse, eurocrats will propose arrangements for “continued reciprocal access by EU and UK vessels to each others’ waters after December 31, 2020”. The EU Commission adds: “In order to guarantee the sustainability of fisheries and in light of the importance of fisheries for the economic livelihood of many communities, it is necessary to facilitate the procedures of authorisation of fishing vessels.”

The bloc is calling for the same level of access its fishermen enjoy to the UK’s fishing grounds as under the Common Fisheries Policy.

Eurocrats have proposed: “The status quo in terms of access by Union fishing vessels”.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said: “This is the biggest insult yet from the European Commission.”

EU argues the request is “considered proportionate”.

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The Government would first have to sign off on the plan before European trawlermen would be allowed access to Britain’s waters.

Brussels bureaucrats have drawn up five new contingency measures to minimise trade “disruption” between the UK and Continent in the event of a no deal.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Negotiations are still ongoing. However, given that the end of the transition is very near, there is no guarantee that if and when an agreement is found, it can enter into force on time.

“Our responsibility is to be prepared for all eventualities, including not having a deal in place with the UK on January 1, 2021. That is why we are coming forward with these measures today.”

The EU also published plans to minimise disruption to aviation, road and train freight.

The measures require Britain to sign up to the same so-called level playing field demands that have stalled the wrangling over a free trade agreement.

In the no deal plans for maintaining road traffic between the UK and EU, the bloc proposes its demands show “consistency with other Union policies”.

The regulation adds: “Even after the end of the transition period, the United Kingdom continues to apply sufficiently high and comparable standards in the area of road freight and road passenger transport.” 

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The measures were published amid growing fear by member states that the trade talks will fail to conclude a UK-EU future relationship pact.

Panicked EU capitals want the bloc to ramp up preparations to ensure basic conectivity is maintained with the UK if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Last night Boris Johnson met with Commission chief Mrs von der Leyen in Brussels to attempt to thrash out agreements on future fishing rights and common standards.

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During a tense three-hour stand-off, the Prime Minister warned he would quit the trade and security talks on Sunday unless Brussels drops its attempts to keep Britain wrapped up in red tape.

The wrangling over the future relationship pact now teeters on the brink of collapse with “very large gaps” between the two sides on future fishing rights and common standards.

A Senior No10 source said: “The Prime Minister and von der Leyen had a frank discussion about the significant obstacles which remain in the negotiations.

“Very large gaps remain between the two sides and it is still unclear whether these can be bridged. The PM and VDL agreed to further discussions over the next few days between their negotiating teams.

“The PM does not want to leave any route to a possible deal untested. The PM and von der Leyen agreed that by Sunday a firm decision should be taken about the future of the talks.”

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