'Hands off OUR waters!': MPs hit back at Michel Barnier after he delivers fishing rights ultimatum

DAILY MAIL - Sep 03, 2020 -


Michel Barnier said that the UK will have 'full sovereignty' over its waters but that the fish within them are 'another story'
  • Post-Brexit trade talks between UK and EU remain in a state of deadlock ahead of eighth round of discussions 

  • The EU is adamant that the crunch issue of fishing rights must be resolved before talks can move forward 

  • Brussels wants EU fishing boats to keep current access to UK waters but No10 wants to give UK boats priority

  • Michel Barnier said the UK will have 'full sovereignty' of its waters but the fish within them is 'another story'  

  • EU's negotiator said No10 is refusing to compromise but UK sources said Mr Barnier was being 'misleading'

Tory MPs today lashed out at Michel Barnier and warned the EU's top negotiator he must understand 'our fishing waters are ours' after Brexit trade talks descended into insults. 

Mr Barnier sparked Brexiteer fury overnight after he said that Britain is regaining control of its waters as part of its split from Brussels but not necessarily the fish within them. 

He said the UK 'will recover the full sovereignty' of its waters but he insisted 'speaking about the fish which are inside those waters' is 'another story'. 

The EU wants to secure continued access to UK waters for the bloc's fishing boats but Number 10 is adamant that British trawlers will be given priority. 

It is one of the main sticking points which is preventing trade talks from progressing, with both sides increasingly frustrated. 

Speaking at an event hosted by a Dublin think tank yesterday Mr Barnier said Britain was refusing to compromise on key issues but UK sources hit back and accused him of a 'deliberate and misleading caricature of our proposals'. 

Tory Brexiteers said Mr Barnier was being 'ridiculous' and that he still failed to understand the UK's position.

One Brexiteer Conservative MP said: ‘I don’t think that they quite believe that we are serious. We have set out what we want, we have been absolutely straight: Our fishing waters are ours, hands off.

‘Why should we give up what is ours? At the end of the day a deal will be done. He can keep saying ridiculous things but no one is taking any notice.’

It came as Pierre Karleskind, a French MEP and chairman of the European Parliament's fisheries committee, defended the bloc's approach on fishing as he said the negotiations boiled down to 'you want something, I want something'. 



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