Brexit negotiators secretly haggling over fishing fudge that could see trade talks reopened in 10 YEARS
BREXIT negotiators are secretly haggling over a fishing fudge that could see the EU and UK Brexit trade deal reviewed in 10 years time, The Sun can reveal.
In a bid to unlock deadlocked talks, Britain offered up a “review clause” on any fishing agreement after three to five years – but Brussels wants it in 10 to 15 years.
And crucially they are demanding the appraisal must be of the whole trade deal, not just fishing – opening the door to a decade more of negotiations.
The UK team are insisting fishing and wider trade agreement must be kept separate as talks go to the wire – but EU sources think they could climb down.
Brits fear reviewing the terms of the deal in the future would give Brussels long-term leverage over them if UK fishing waters are back up for grabs in 2030.
The EU could once more use access to their markets to put the squeeze on No 10 for a greater share of the spoils of Britain’s waters.
Last night fishing industry chiefs urged Boris Johnson to reject the idea out of hand.
Any perceived climbdown on fishing will infuriate Brexit purists in the Tory party, but Labour are hinting heavily they will back a trade deal if one can be secured in a bid to put their internal Brexit strife to bed for good.
Our revelation comes after face to face meetings between the two sides were paused due to a Covid outbreak in the EU team.
But they are likely to resume later this week in London with only a few days delay for much hoped for breakthrough.
Sources on the UK side say some significant progress has been made on the so-called Level Playing demands from Brussels to tie the UK to their red tape indefinitely.
But they stress the two sides are “still miles apart on fishing.”
One source said: “They still don’t get it. They are still demanding basically 80 per cent of the access they have now to UK waters and are sticking to that demand.”
Barrie Deas, from the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations, said: "I'm sure that a 10 year deal with links to trade would suit the EU very well.
"But it would not be compatible with the UK’s status as an independent coastal state, and I would expect it to be rejected if tabled."
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