The European Union is making a ‘final effort’ to reach a trade agreement with the United Kingdom for the period after 31 December, says chief negotiator Michel Barnier. Earlier in the day, the EU rejected a compromise proposal from the British on fishing.
“We are at a crucial stage. We are making one last effort,” said Barnier, prior to a meeting with diplomats from the 27 member states.
According to sources from Bloomberg, the UK has proposed a 30% reduction in the value of fish caught by EU member states in British waters, but the EU would not go beyond a 25% reduction. The British had already lowered their previous 60% requirement.
The EU and the UK are currently negotiating what trade between them should be as of 1 January, when the British have also technically left the EU. Until the end of the year, there is still a transitional period in which trade is conducted according to old agreements.
Fishing is one of the main points of contention still on the table. The EU wants European fishermen to continue to have access to British waters, but the British want to be able to decide for themselves. In addition, there is still disagreement over supervision and state aid.