Ball’s in your court, Boris! France refuses to back down on fishing as Boris sent warning

Brexit: Johnson and von der Leyen release trade talks statement

France, and other coastal states, face massive cuts to fishing quotas after the end of the year unless Boris Johnson compromises. Access to Britain’s waters has become the most explosive topic in the wrangling over the UK-EU future relationship pact. Clement Beaune, France’s Europe minister, who is a close ally of the President, said his government was ready to block the trade deal unless its fishermen are granted generous access to UK fishing grounds.

Mr Beaune said: “On fisheries there is no reason to yield to Britain’s pressure. We can make some efforts but sacrificing fisheries and fishermen, no.”

He insisted Paris was prepared to veto a “bad” deal for French fishermen.

The threat is likely to hang over over Mr Johnson’s efforts to unlock the trade talks when he travels to Brussels for showdown talks later this week.

The Prime Minister will meet in person with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to thrash out the final outstanding issues in the trade talks – fishing rights, the so-called level playing field and governance.

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He could also meet with French President Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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