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Talks will continue today in Brussels between the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart Lord Frost. But Boris Johnson has warned that it is “far from certain” that Britain will manage to get a post-Brexit trade deal with Brussels in time for the end of the year with signs of an impasse in three key areas including state aid, the level playing field and fishing.
European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer, said: “What is clear is that we continue to negotiate intensively with our UK partners and we aim, obviously, to find a deal when the conditions will be there.
“We are not going to give a blow-by-blow account of what negotiators are working towards.”
French officials representing President Emmanuel Macron have suggested the shock of a no-deal especially on fishing could have an immediate “devastating effect” on the industry.
They stressed fishing is “particularly sensitive” in France as nearly 30 percent of the EU’s hexagonal fishing is carried out there.
One French diplomat said: “The priority for the French is to have the lowest possible impact to keep access to English territorial waters.”
They added this meant Michel Barnier had to represent the interests of all major EU coastal states especially France “effectively.”
But a Whitehall official close to the negotiations told Express.co.uk: “We’re determined to reach a reasonable deal which respects UK sovereignty, we’re not giving into French demands.”
EU Commission accounts seen by this website also suggest the European fish industry mobilizes around 107,000 jobs in fishing, 80,000 in aquaculture and 100,000 in processing.
According to the accounts, this generates £3.3 billion pounds in turnover per year.
7:30am update: Security warning in event of a No-Deal Brexit
Losing access to criminal databases under a no-deal Brexit would have a “major operational impact” for police, senior officers have warned.
The UK could face a “security downgrade” in January if there is no negotiated outcome on a Brexit deal in the next few weeks, according to the Commons Home Affairs Committee.
Committee chairman Yvette Cooper cited “extremely serious” and “troubling” letters she had received from the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) on the subject.
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