UK Ministry of Defence put four British Royal Navy River Class Patrol Boats on standby. Photo: Royal Navy
British Naval Vessels have been put on stand-by as the UK prepares for a ‘no-deal Brexit’ as talks continue today between their negotiating team and the EU delegates. Led by Michel Barnier.
British PM, Boris Johnson has said that he was pessimistic about a deal with the European Union on trade and on Friday he chaired a “stock-take” on the UK’s preparedness for a no-deal scenario.
Part of the process in preparations for a no-deal Brexit has seen the Ministry of Defence (MoD) putting four Royal Navy Patrol boats on stand-by for action to protect UK territorial waters from EU fishing vessels.
The Sunday deadline set by the PM and EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, after the met last Wednesday night, is fast approaching and a ‘no-deal’ anticipated on both sides.
The hard-line mandate on fisheries, governance and the level-playing field is being upheld by the EU camp.
On Friday, French President, Emmanuel Macron said he was unwilling to “give up my share of the cake” on the country’s rights to fish in UK waters. “I’m not asking to have my cake and eat it, no,” he said. “All I want is a cake that’s worth its weight.”
The British PM maintains the EU needed to make a “big change” over the main sticking points on fishing rights and business competition rules, while Mrs von der Leyen said no deal was the most probable end to “difficult” talks.
The EU has rejected Mr Johnson’s request to bypass the European Commission and speak directly to French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel about the unresolved issues.
According to EU officials, he was told discussions could only take place through the bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, who is meeting with his UK Chief Negotiatior, David Frost in Brussels.
On Friday, officials in the MoD confirmed that the Royal Navy is set to deplay its four 80 metre River Class offshore patrol boats to police UK waters and stop French and other EU fishing vessels from illegally entering UK waters in the English Channel to fish.