EU has made “final” offer on fisheries in UK talks – senior diplomat

A fisherman repairs a fishing net on the dock of the port in Boulogne-sur-Mer
FILE PHOTO: A fisherman repairs a fishing net on the dock of the port in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, January 29, 2020. Picture taken January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

December 22, 2020

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union member states consider their latest offer on fisheries in UK trade talks as final, a senior EU diplomat told Reuters after an update on Brexit by the bloc’s negotiator, Michel Barnier.

“There is still serious concern on the level playing field and blockage on fish,” said the senior diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, adding that the latest UK offer on allocating the catch from 2021 was “not acceptable”.

“For EU member states, the last Commission offer already goes very far and can only be considered … as final.”

A second diplomat said the crux of Barnier’s closed-door update for the 27 national envoys to Brussels was that the EU and UK were getting closer to sealing a new trade deal, but there was no agreement yet.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Kevin Liffey)