EU rebuffs latest British fish offer
December 22, 2020 - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered a fresh proposal on fishing rights aimed at saving €735.6 billion in EU-UK bilateral trade. The two sides are haggling over just €78.6 million of fish.
Chief negotiator Michel Barnier initially offered to accept a cut of just 15 per cent in the EU’s quota of fish in British waters, phased in over ten years.
This cut would have seen the value of the EU catch in British waters fall from €785.7 million to €667.8 million, based on 2018 quotas.
On December 18, the EU raised its cut to 25 per cent over eight years, in what was said to be a “final offer.”
But on Monday (December 21), there were reports that the two sides could settle on the EU handing over 35 per cent of its quota over five years, with future disputes resolved by an independent arbitration.
That would have been worth €510.7 million to EU boats -- just €78.6 million down on the EU’s previous demand.
Bloomberg reports that the European Union has rejected the UK’s latest concessions on fishing. Barnier will brief the 27 member states at about 15:00GMT in Brussels on Tuesday.
There are only nine days left before the UK leaves the bloc’s single market and customs union -- leaving the EU exports worth €410.85 billion to the UK in jeopardy. The fishing dispute is worth just 0.02 per cent of those exports.