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France stays firm on access to UK fisheries while Germany & Italy hold out for fair Brexit deal as Johnson’s deadline arrives

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German Federal Foreign Office, Michael Roth, arrives at the European Council building in Luxembourg, October 13, 2020 © Virginia Mayo/Pool via REUTERS
EU’s 27 states must be ‘unified’ as Brexit trade talks in ‘critical’ stage – EU ministers

EU access to British waters after the transition period finishes on December 31 is one of a number of outstanding issues for trade negotiators, including dispute settlement and state aid. Trade between the two bodies is estimated to be worth a trillion euros every year. 

Despite, the relatively small value of fishing rights, which is worth less than 1.4 billion pounds (€1.6 billion) to the UK economy, according to a House of Commons research, the issue remains a sticking point for both parties. 

On Wednesday, with tensions running high, videos emerged online of French fishing vessels attacking British boats by firing flares and throwing oil.

Thursday’s meeting was only the third time that EU leaders have met face-to-face since the coronavirus pandemic began. Johnson has previously said that London would walk away from the negotiating table if an “outline” for a trade deal had not been reached by October 15.

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