Talks are ongoing tonight in Brussels despite the British threat of ‘irresponsible’ gunboat diplomacy. Photo: Seaforces.org
Talks are ongoing tonight between the EU and UK negotiating teams in Brussels but news coming from the British camp suggests that talks are on-course to end in a no-deal.
The Sunday deadline for talks to continue is drawing near as talks are due to continue overnight, but as things stand the offer on the table from the EU remains unacceptable.
Johnson and Von der Leyen will speak tomorrow, as planned as the British PM promises to leave no stone unturned in his effort to find a deal.
Sources say that the “gunboat” headline from this morning’s news reports have not been well received by the EU side and have apparently “not helped the mood as EU Chief, Michel Barnier only had one meeting with his opposite number on the UK side, David Frost.
The British Ministry of Defence said four ships were ready for “robust enforcement” when the transition period ends as fishing continues to be one of the major sticking points in negotiations.
One source told Irish national broadcaster, RTÉ that the UK has pushed for further restrictions of foreign ownership of British fishing boats.
The French Navy tweeted today to remind the UK Ministry of Defence of the shared experiences that both countries share:
“As part of a partnership with the @RoyalNavy, officers from the United Kingdom are regularly posted on board frigates of France as a shift supervisor. Goals; Sharing of know-how, mutual enrichment and strengthening of interoperability.”
One Irish MEP, Barry Andrews criticised the British government’s plan to put Royal Navy patrol boats on standby to protect UK waters in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“I think it is irresponsible. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s 19th century gun boat diplomacy,” he said.
In the UK Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood also described the threat of the deployment of the Royal Navy vessels “irresponsible”.