EU blasted for ‘trying to recreate Common Fisheries Policy’ as stubborn Macron savaged

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Conservative MP David Jones warned Brussels will have to back down on its fishing demands and finally accept Britain is going to be an independent coastal state to reach a deal. The former Brexit minister hit out at the EU for trying to “recreate” the CFP – which British fishermen say has decimated their livelihoods.

Mr Jones, who is deputy chair of the influential European Research Group (ERG) of Tory MPs, told “They are going to have to drop demands, for example, of full access to British fishing waters.

“What they are trying to do is to recreate the CFP.

“It’s almost as if they haven’t actually accepted the fact we’ve left the EU.

“At the end of the year, we’re going to be an independent coastal state and they need to negotiate with us on an annual basis as they do, for example, with Norway.”

The Tory MP hit out at French President Emmanuel Macron’s stubbornness over fishing.

Mr Macron, who is under pressure from French fishermen fearing they will lose access to British waters, has taken a hard line over the issue – which is a key stumbling block in trade talks between the UK and EU.

Mr Jones said: “President Macron has been particularly unhelpful in this connection because he has got elections coming up.

“He has probably been the most obstructive to discussing the new fishing arrangements.”

The Brexiteer added that a transition period on fishing could be an option while the UK builds up its capacity.

Mr Jones said: “I have no doubt that we’d be prepared to let them continue have access provided they pay for it for a short transitional period of say three years.

“We need to build up our own fishing capacity which has been so badly affected by membership of the EU over the last almost 50 years.”

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Mr Jones’s comments come as intensive Brexit talks led by UK chief negotiator Lord Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier are continuing over the weekend.

Negotiations resumed on Thursday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned earlier this month that Britain would prepare for no deal unless there was a major change in approach from Brussels.

Fishing remains one of the outstanding differences between the two sides.

The UK has insisted it will hold the right to control who can fish in British waters when the transition period comes to a close at the end of the year.

But the stance will likely result in a lower fish quota for European fishermen.

It was previously reported that Britain offered the EU a three-year buffer period to ease the impact of any reduction in the amount of fish that European boats can catch in UK waters.

The concession would see fishing quotas for European trawlers scaled back gradually between 2021 and 2024.

The governance of any deal and the level playing field, aimed at preventing unfair competition, are also sticking points in trade talks.

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