Brexit: Fishing row could be ‘getting ugly’ says Andy Mayer
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The new EU delegation for post-Brexit trade relations with the UK will see 35 MEPs and 35 British MPs working together to ensure a smooth trading future. One of its members, Lega MEP Marco Campomenosi, has already pledged to push Brussels to drop its “childish” agenda against Britain and work towards enhanced relations with the UK.
In a note to reporters, the Italian politician said: “I am satisfied to be a member of the EU Delegation for relations with the United Kingdom, because I believe it is time to put aside the somewhat childish reactions of some in the EU institutions, and work with London starting from the common sharing of values and social, economic, environmental and vision standards for the future of the world that will only see us united.
“In Brussels, there are those who took a punitive approach to the UK during the Brexit negotiations.
“On the contrary, we have always claimed a common sense perspective.
“Italy is a net exporter to the United Kingdom and the EU must recognise the need to enhance trade relations.
“Furthermore, the common membership of NATO and the international counter-terrorism action must keep us unique and cohesive in the years to come, which will be years of great challenges and turbulence.”
The comments come as the UK and Brussels are still locking horns on the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
On Monday, Brussels has signalled it is unwilling to cave to UK demands to discuss removing oversight by European judges from the protocol.
The EU said a “very intense period of discussions” has begun but suggested they may not include the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
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Stripping the ECJ from the Brexit agreement has emerged as a key demand from the Government as it seeks to ease trade barriers between Northern Ireland and Britain.
But the EU’s proposals to slash red tape on Irish Sea trade fell short of the demand from Brexit minister Lord Frost, who is taking part in meetings in Brussels.
European Commission spokeswoman Arianna Podesta insisted the package proposed by the EU last week is extensive and that talks would not go much further than it.
Asked whether talks will include the ECJ this week, Ms Podesta told reporters in Brussels: “We are following up on the package that we have proposed on October 13 – it is a far-reaching package.”
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Lord Frost is meeting with Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission vice-president who has been acting as the EU’s post-Brexit negotiator.
Mr Sefcovic welcomed that “both sides have agreed to engage intensively and constructively at both expert and political level”, according to a statement from the commission.
“The EU seeks to focus on the areas that matter most to Northern Irish people and businesses, and where we can find common ground,” it added.
“Swift joint solutions would bring the stability, certainty and predictability that Northern Ireland deserves, ultimately protecting the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement in all its dimensions.”
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