Brexiteers have expressed anger at an “outrageous” demand from the EU’s trade commissioner who suggested the bloc provide London with access to European markets in exchange for right to use Britain’s fishing waters. Labour Leave tweeted their fury at the suggestion. They said: “No, our fishing industry needs our waters back, this is a typically outrageous demand for an FTA from the Brussels bullies.
“EU trade chief foresees ‘financial services for fishing’ Brexit bargain.”
The Republic of Ireland’s Phil Hogan told the Irish Independent: “There certainly will be trade-offs, particularly at the end of the negotiations.
“The EU will be seeking concessions on fishery access and the UK will very probably be seeking concessions on financial services.”
Anti-Brexit Mr Hogan, who has issued scathing attacks on Boris Johnson and his fellow Vote Leave campaigners, called the Prime Minister’s demands to get a trade deal done by the end of this year “fairytale economics”.
This comes despite four years of negotiations and two general elections to get the EU to agree to a deal with the UK.
The bloc was presented with the main principles of the free trade agreement yesterday that detailed “access to waters and quota share for fisheries” would be made “within the context of the economic partnership”, The Guardian reports.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also yesterday demanded the UK sign up to a series of commitments on state aid, environmental and labour standards.
She said: “Great Britain is our friend, the Brits are our friends, it is a friendship that has been growing for a long time but we have to break new ground with each other, and here it applies as well: it is the decision of Great Britain how close or distant of the biggest single market in the world they want to be.
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“The closer they are, meaning a level playing field, the more they are ready to respect the European rules, the easier accession to the European single market will be.
“The further away, the less there is of a level playing field, the more difficult their access to the European single market will be.
“It is a decision Great Britain has to make and in the negotiations we will have to sound out the scope that we want to use to then determine the negotiations accordingly.”
It comes as Croatia Prime Minister Andrej Plenković condemned the EU’s negating stance on a deal with Britain.
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He said the bloc would seek to be unashamedly “political” and block the UK’s access to European financial markets if Mr Johnson attempts to flout their requests.
It follows news today that Eurocrat Guy Verhofstadt urged Boris Johnson to adopt the Queen’s “flexible” approach and allow more negotiating time for a possible trade agreement with Brussels.
The European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator said the Prime Minister should stand ready to extend the transition period beyond the end of the year – just as the Queen agreed to accommodate the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ wish to quit the Royal Family.
Addressing MEPs, he said Mr Johnson should “take an example” from the 93-year-old monarch who has allowed Harry and Meghan’s wish to create a new lift, in which they will divide their time between Britain and Canada in a transition period.
Mr Verhofstadt said: “I ask a bit of flexibility from Prime Minister Johnson. Maybe he can take an example from the Queen.”
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