Brexit deal: battle Iines drawn over EU access to UK fishing grounds

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has warned the European Union will insist on making progress on its priorities of fisheries and level-playing-field provisions in parallel to trade talks with Britain.

Negotiations between the EU and Britain over new trade arrangements to kick in once a transition period ends on December 31st have reached an impasse.

Britain, seeking a basic free trade agreement,says that the EU is making demands such as an insistence on level-playing-field rules, including in areas such as taxation and state aid that it has not asked for in previous deals with other trading partners. Britain strongly opposes measures that would require it to maintain rules similar to European standards.

The “EU will insist on parallel progress on LPF [level playing field], governance & fishing in order to progress a trade deal,” Coveney tweeted following talks with chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday.

The implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol, which guarantees an open land border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, is “also important to build trust,” Coveney said.

Further negotiations are due to take place next week, which means that there is still time for London and Brussels to meet a deadline at the end of June to agree on extending negotiations beyond the end of the year, something that Boris Johnson has ruled out.

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