Politics

UK must NOT sell out fishing in Brexit trade deal says Tice as he demands UK buys British

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The former MEP insisted the coronavirus crisis shows we must make and buy more in Britain to protect jobs. He added the prospect of no deal between the UK and the EU is “no problem”.

Mr Tice tweeted: “NO sell out of fishing: our excellent negotiator David Frost must stick to his guns: Covid has taught us that we must make more in Britain & buy more from Britain to create & protect British jobs. No deal, No Problem.”

The ex-MEP was responding to reports Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to double the fish quotas for British fishermen in UK waters.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage echoed Mr Tice’s calls.

He said on Twitter: “Boris has made a very generous fisheries offer, hopefully subject to annual changes.

“For 40 years the EU fleet has been able to take advantage of us.

“If Barnier rejects this then No Deal will be the only acceptable outcome.”

Fishing has proved to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks in post-Brexit trade negotiations.

The UK’s fishing industry has been decimated over the years by the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.

Britain is now demanding an arrangement on fishing similar to the one Norway has with Brussels.

Downing Street blasted the bloc yesterday after the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier accused the UK of refusing to compromise – including on fishing.

Mr Barnier said on Wednesday: “We did not see any change in the position of the UK.

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“This is why I express publicly that I am worried and I am disappointed because, frankly speaking, we have moved.

“I’ve shown clearly openness to find compromise.

“If they don’t move on the issues which are the key issues of the EU, the level playing field, fisheries and governance, the UK will take itself the risk of a no deal.”

But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman hit back: “Michel Barnier’s comments are a misleading representation of our proposals aimed at deflecting scrutiny from the EU’s own positions which are unrealistic and unprecedented.

“For our part we’ve been consistently clear that we’re seeking a relationship that respects our sovereignty and has a free trade agreement at its core similar to those the EU has already agreed with like minded countries.

“The EU have refused to engage with our proposals and the documents we’ve brought to the table insisting we must accept continuity with EU fisheries policy and disregarding the UK’s status as an independent coastal state.

“We need more realism from the EU on the scale of the change that results from our leaving the EU.

“We do want an agreement and are looking for a relationship based on the EU’s existing bilateral arrangement on fishing with Norway which is the most relevant precedent to relationships between two independent coastal states.”

Britain left the EU on January 31 and the transition period runs until December 31.

Mr Barnier has warned the two sides must agree a deal by the end of next month in order to have it in place for the close of the transition period.

The eighth round of negotiations take place in London next week.

Mr Barnier met his UK counterpart David Frost in Downing Street this week for informal talks in a bid to break the deadlock.

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