In a letter to the Chairperson of the European Research Group, Mark Francois, Michel Barnier reiterates his committment to the EU fisheries mandate
Michel Barnier has again reiterated his commitment to the mandate given to him by the EU’s Member States and has asked the UK to honour it’s comittment under the 2019 Political Declaration.
In a long-awaited reply to the Chairperson of the European Research Group, Mark Francois, Mr Barner again emphasised that he was committed to a trade deal that would include fisheries.
Mark Francois had written to the EU’s chief negotiator last month, insisting he must drop what he called the EU’s “unreasonable demands”.
In his letter he thanked the chairman for his letter of 26 June saying that it was a pleasure to hear from UK elected representatives.
The EU’s Chief Negotiator writes that he has always respected the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU.
He says “While nobody has been able to demonstrate to me the added value of leaving the most integrated economic and free trade area in the world, I have always respected the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU. In the same spirit we approach the ongoing negotiations with your great – and indeed free – country which will remain a close neighbour, friend and ally of the European Union.
He also pointed out that the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Union has negotiated a comprehensive future plan and this has been agreed between the UK and the EU27 in the Political Declaration from 2019. The Political Declaration fully respects UK sovereignty as it respects that of the EU Member States
Michel Barnier said “All we’re asking from the UK is to honour its commitment in the Political Declaration.”
He also addressed Mark Francois’ question on the level-playing field.
Barnier said “You also refer to the level playing field if the UK wants to conclude an economic partnership with the EU, fairness and the rules of the game in an unprecedented context of geographic proximity and close economic interconnectedness based on almost finished five decades of sharing the same single market, are necessary. Let me also add that the EU will not agree and economic partnership with the UK without a balanced fisheries agreement, setting out in particular quarter shares and reciprocal access to waters
“Agreement on these crucial issues as a precondition for our future economic partnership, as it is the full implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement. The two preconditions are also included in the Political Declaration signed by Prime Minister Johnson.”