Fishing rights ‘non-negotiable’ in Brexit deal as EU told sovereignty can’t be ‘bargained’

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The UK must refuse to hand over “democratic right to self-rule” on fishing access, the Brexiteer warned. Daniel Hannan spoke to talkRADIO about the likelihood of Brexit deal being agreed by the end of next week. The former Tory MEP, who is now an adviser to the UK Board of Trade, warned this would only be possible with “movement from the EU’s side”.

He told listeners: “I have no idea, and neither does anyone else apart from the people in those talks.

“They are being professional and discreet about the whole thing.

“If you twist my arm, I’d say there’s probably a 70-30 chance that there will be a deal next week.

“It does require some movement on the EU side on fish.”

Mr Hannan continued: “It may be a very small part of our economy, but sovereignty is a non-negotiable factor.

“The other outstanding issue is the question of state aid.

“If it were only state aid, by the way, it would be easy, but it’s the whole.

“The EU has not completely dropped the demand that they want to have some kind of continuing oversight of our rules on employment law, environmental protection and all the rest of it.”

The former MEP added: “There is a deal to be done on the same basis as the fisheries one, which is that our sovereignty can’t be bargained with.

“We’re not going to start handing away our democratic right to self-rule.

“But we can probably give assurances that our state aid regime is going to be less distorted than most of the continental ones.”

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Brexit trade talks between the UK and EU are continuing via video conference this week.

The talks were shifted online last week when an EU official tested positive for coronavirus.

Both sides have indicated that further in-person meetings are needed to resolve any outstanding issues.

If an agreement isn’t made within the week it may not give enough time for ratification by member states before transition period deadline.

However, a deal could be rushed through via ‘provisional application’, which would put it in place before ratification.

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