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Brussels unravels on fisheries – MEPs threaten to punish UK if Boris refuses to back down

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The UK faces sanctions from the European Parliament if Britain dares to exclude European fishing vessels from its waters, in a shock threat from MEPs. The threat comes from the European People’s Party (EPP), one of the biggest blocs in the European Parliament. This comes despite formal confirmation from the UK that the transition period won’t be extended.

In a video message, Christophe Hansen, a Luxembourg MEP, said that there will not be a trade agreement without a fisheries agreement.

He listed red lines for the EPP including level-playing field for European companies and a role for the European Court of Justice in any disputes between the two sides after Brexit.

Mr Hasan said: “We will not do a deal at any cost, that has to be clear.

“We have many European regions which depend 100% on UK waters, so for them of course it would be dramatic and that’s why we say, there will not be trade agreement if we don’t have a fisheries agreement.”

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He continued: “So this has to go hand in hand. We don’t have separate sectorial agreements.

“We want an overarching coherent and comprehensive agreement that includes trades in goods and fisheries products as well as fishing rights.

“So if there is a breach, for example, in fisheries that we can have trade sanctions in other sectors, we need to have this correct balance.”

The MEP went on to set a strict deadline for the talks to end, saying that late autumn, which has been proposed by EU leaders, would be “too late for the European Parliament”.

French lawmakers issued demands on Thursday for their government to stay firm over fishing in Brexit negotiations.

This has thrown Mr Barnier’s plans to reach a compromise with Britain into chaos.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to sit down for a virtual summit with EU leaders on Monday in a bid to break the trade deal deadlock.

Mr Johnson has repeatedly ruled out asking the EU for an extension since he entered Downing Street last summer.



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