EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has reportedly made an offer to the UK on a fisheries deal
EU Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier has told Member States fisheries ministers, that he made an offer to the UK which would involve handing back between 15% and 18% of the value of fish stocks currently caught by EU fleets in UK waters, according to an RTÉ report.
It is understood by the national broadcaster that Mr Barnier conveyed the information during a meeting with EU ambassadors this morning
On average European vessels catch €650m worth of fish from UK waters each year. This would mean Mr Barnier’s offer would be worth up to €117m to the UK fishing industry in both the pelagic and demersal sectors.
Mr Barnier held a video meeting with fisheries minister from eight coastal states this afternoon. One of those who attended was Irish Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue but in his press release after the meeting he did not mention any factor of a deal being offered.
Instead he said, “I appreciated the opportunity again today to meet with Mr Barnier and outline again Ireland’s serious concerns in relation to the potential impacts for Ireland’s fishing industry if a fair and balanced Fisheries Agreement with the UK is not reached. I have continued confidence that Irish and EU fishing interests will be robustly defended by Mr Barnier and his team in this late phase of negotiations.”
Earlier, he said he would travel to London this evening for talks with his British counterpart David Frost on a new trade deal but said the “same significant divergences persist”.
The issues which remain to be resolved are those around governance, the so-called level playing field, and fisheries.
Talks are set to resume this evening in-person concentrating on the Northern Ireland protocol after talks were stopped after a member of Mr Barnier’s team recently tested positive for Covid-19.