British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

EU’s stance on fish production ‘not reasonable’: Boris Johnson

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said trade talks with the European Union (EU) are in a “serious situation,” warning that a deal will be impossible unless the bloc softens its demands over fisheries.

PM Johnson, who spoke with EU President Ursula von der Leyen Thursday night, said in a separate statement, that “big differences” remain between the two sides, particularly on fishing, Bloomberg reports.

For all the rhetoric, the focus on what access EU boats will have to British waters is a sign the two sides may have largely settled their differences over the other major obstacle to an accord: the level competitive playing field for business.

Talks will continue in Brussels Friday, with officials cautiously predicting a deal in coming days.

Boris Johnson’s message to Ursula Von der Leyen on their phone call Thursday evening was that the UK. and EU are unlikely to reach a deal unless the EU makes big changes to its stance on fishing, according to a readout from the UK premier’s office.

“The Prime Minister underlined that the negotiations were now in a serious situation,” the readout said.

“Time was very short and it now looked very likely that agreement would not be reached unless the EU position changed substantially.”

According to Johnson, the UK is making “every effort to accommodate reasonable EU requests on the level playing field.”

However, the EU’s position on fisheries was “simply not reasonable and if there was to be an agreement it needed to shift significantly.”

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told a House of Lords Committee that the deadline for getting a deal will be in the days immediately after Christmas.

“Of course, the EU can apply provisional application of the treaty,” he said, referring to the process allowing the EU to implement a deal before it’s formally ratified by the European Parliament.

In London, Parliament could be recalled from its vacation to approve any Brexit deal rapidly.

“We will want to ensure Parliament has a say and a chance to scrutinise any agreement,” Gove said.

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