King’s College London professor of European politics and foreign affairs Anand Menon argued the UK has significant leverage over the EU regarding an agreement on fisheries in the Brexit trade talks. The director of UK in a Changing Europe think tank insisted the EU would have to compromise significantly despite its hardline stance on fishing. He added the UK may also have to compromise but has scope to come out ahead due to the EU’s desire to settle the fishing debate in the trade agreement.
Mr Menon said: “There is an interesting standoff here.
“This is because fisheries is one of the areas where the UK has real bargaining leverage.
“The EU is very keen to try and ensure that fisheries isn’t traded off against other things.
“For example, if we said, we will give you fish if you give us financial services.”
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Mr Menon explained how the UK and EU would have to negotiate if a deal was to be agreed by the end of the year.
He said: “To get a deal on fish, both sides are going to have to compromise a bit.
“The EU is going to have to accept that if we are member state, then they cannot have the same sort of access to UK waters when we were a member state.
“Equally I think the UK may have to grant them a degree of access.
“This isn’t about striking the best economic deal.
“It would be silly, I think, if we didn’t get a deal if things stalled over fisheries.”
Mr Menon also argued Mr Barnier is putting pressure on member state leaders to relax their fishing stance to ensure he can make progress in the Brexit trade talks.