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The EU is set to stand defiant over fisheries and the level playing field demands this week, as Boris Johnson’s deadline for reaching a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU fast approaches. Trade talks will take place in Brussels this week, ahead of a key EU summit on Thursday.
But European leaders, particularly French President Emmanuel Macron, have put significant pressure on the bloc’s negotiator to not give concessions to Britain.
Michel Barnier, who is leading the talks for the EU, has been told he must insist the same fishing rights continue after the EU transition period ends at the end of the year.
Britain is vowing for a new quota system, but several EU leaders want fisheries to remain unchanged.
Mr Barnier has also been told he must stand tough on enforcement rules, and ensure the level playing field demand is not scrapped.
But these two areas form part of the Prime Minister’s red lines – where he vowed the UK would not cave.
As a result, the next few days are critical if the two sides hope to reach a deal before Britain’s deadline of October 15.
About 50 UK officials have gone to Brussels for the informal talks this week, indicating Britain’s readiness to secure an agreement ahead of Thursday’s summit.
It is thought the two sides may announce a “deal in principle” on Thursday, paving the way for the two teams to continue negotiating into the start of next month.
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