UK negotiators could claim their first victory next week after it was revealed at the EU may be preparing to make concessions on their demands over fishing rights post Brexit.
It comes as sources have indicated that the EU may look to soften its stance on fisheries in negotiations which are due to take place next week.
Fishing has become one of the final stumbling blocks in the Brexit negotiations with France and the other EU 27 nations looking to maintain their rights to UK waters where the majority of fishing currently takes place.
The UK, on the other hand, have refused to accept any future plans by Brussels who want the current fishing arrangements to be maintained after Brexit has been completed.
Boris Johnson and the UK government will look to maintain full control of their waters and the fish in them. They will stress that the EU must recognise Britains new coastal independence post Brexit.
Chief negotiator David Davis is thought to have put forth blueprints that outline an agreement on fishing quotas, backed by scientific methods where the plans would be discussed as a part of the annual negotiation on access.
David Davis’ counterpart, Michel Barnier may offer what could be a compromise next week which could ultimately break the deadlock.
One of Barnier’s aides has suggested that an agreement could be found to help settle the UK and EU’s differences.
When speaking at an event in Brussels, Director of the European Commission’s UK taskforce suggested that the EU’s stance could be softening.
An EU source also confirmed to Reuters - “We would be looking to shift on demands to keep everything as is now, a somewhat maximalist opening position, if the UK also moved from its position of coastal attachment. That’s where the room for compromise lies.”
Another EU diplomate told the news agency, “Our opening line of keeping the current terms is impossible to uphold,” the source said. “That is clearly unattainable so we’d be looking to some narrowing of the positions.”
Concessions from both sides would mean significant progress in discussions which to date have been strained. The two teams of negotiators have also been forced to hold their discussions via video conferencing instead of the usual face-to-face meetings due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
January 14, 2021