Brexit POLL: Did Gove finally reveal EU hypocrisy with demand to access UK fishing? VOTE

The Cabinet Minister said Brussels was seeking “more or less the same access” to UK waters in the future once the Brexit transition period has come to an end. His scathing assessment of the EU’s approach to trade negotiations comes after both sides wrapped up Round 2 of talks last Friday. Only “limited progress” was made on key issues, the Government said,  including fisheries.

Speaking in the Committee meeting, Mr Gove said the fishing dispute, which shows no sign of let-up, was “another example” of how European negotiators are “not treating the UK yet as they would treat other independent countries”.

He said: “This is one area where I think that the EU’s stance is particularly difficult and challenging.

“The EU quite rightly say to the UK, ‘Look, you’re leaving and we respect that. You cannot have the same rights if you do not have the same obligations, outside the EU as inside the EU’ and we accept that.

“We accept that the nature of our economic relationship will change.

“We’ll have a free trade agreement, we won’t be members of the single market.

“But, the EU don’t appear to accept their own logic when it comes to fisheries.

“They want to continue to have more or less the same access, they particularly want to maintain what’s called the relative stability mechanism, which governs access to our waters on the basis of out of date, historical patterns of fishing.

“Our view is when we leave, we’ll be an independent coastal state like Norway or Iceland or the Faroes.

“And therefore, access to our waters should be negotiated on an annual basis in the way it is with those other countries.”

Mr Gove put the odds of Britain and Brussels reaching a trade agreement by the end of the year at “definitely better than two to one”.

However, he admitted he is “not very good at making political predictions”.

UK/EU fishing plan on table ‘in weeks’ – but Barnier MUST give ground [INSIGHT]
UK tells EU it WILL control its waters after futile Brexit demand [ANALYSIS]
Barnier threatens to sink Brexit deal after furious rant over fish [SHOCK]

The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost struck an optimistic note last week as he kicked off discussions over video link with the EU’s team led by Michel Barnier.

But by the end of the week the gap between the two sides relating to multiple key issues had not been bridged.

Mr Frost had hoped to make progress on “an agreement based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals”.

It was clear from his tweets later in the week that he did not believe the EU saw Britain as an equal.

He said while the UK absolutely supports maintaining high standards on goods, “there is no need for novel and unprecedented ‘level playing field’ rules’ for example tying us to EU laws, or a role for the EU Court”.

He pointed out that what Eurocrats were demanding from the Brits was “unlike anything agreed in other such FTAs (free trade agreements)”.

He vowed the UK would not agree to such demands.

Mr Barnier claimed the UK was running down the clock in Brexit talks following the largely unsuccessful video meetings last week.

He said it was unacceptable for Britain to stick to its pledge to leave the single market and customs union at the end of the year with or without a deal.

“The UK cannot refuse to extend the transition, and at the same time slow down discussions on important areas,” Mr Barnier said.

Source: Read Full Article