Negotiations with London are not only blocked by fishing, but on all issues, the French president stressed at a press conference after the EU summit in Brussels.
“The situation in our negotiations is not that we are about to get stuck because of fishing, which is the tactical argument of the British, but we are stuck in everything,” he said, especially in competition regulations.
“Fishing is a topic tactically used by the British, because in the case of a ‘no deal’, it is the only subject in which Boris Johnson can say ‘I won’,” Macron said.
The head of the British government urged the British on Friday to prepare for an exit from the EU on January 1 – without an agreement on the future British-European relationship – but European sources in Brussels say that it is primarily rhetoric and that negotiations continue .
France is at the forefront of the fisheries case, which, along with competition and dispute settlement, is the area of dispute between Brussels and London.
“Will the situation be the same as now? Not. Our fishermen know that, and we will support them. Can we accept a Brexit that will sacrifice our fishermen? No, of course not, either, “Macron said.
“A serious agreement is an agreement that will allow for the long-term access of our fishermen to British waters,” he said.
“This is about 750 million euros, the access of all our fishermen to British waters (…). In addition, we will discuss energy, for example, because access to the European single energy market currently has an economic value of between 700 million euros and two and a half billion euros. That is the reality, “he said.
“The sovereign leaders of the 27 do not have the vocation to make the Prime Minister of Great Britain happy,” said Emmanuel Macron.
Change of position
The British government’s negotiations with the EU on the future trade relationship after Brexit are over, a Boris Johnson spokesman said on Friday, if Brussels does not change its position.
“Trade negotiations are over. The EU ended them de facto by saying it did not want to change its negotiating position, “he said.
“There is no need for negotiations if the EU does not change its position. The EU effectively ended talks yesterday (Thursday). It is useless to discuss if the EU does not fundamentally change its position “, he repeated.
Johnson’s spokesman said Brexit’s EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier should only come to London next week if he is prepared to discuss all issues on the basis of a legal text or if he is prepared to discuss practical ways to movement or transport of goods.
“We have to prepare for an exit without an agreement”
Britain must prepare for an exit from the EU without a negotiated agreement with it on their future relationship, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday.
“Unless there is a fundamental change of approach, we are moving towards an Australian solution and we must do so with great confidence,” he said, referring to the fact that the EU and Australia do not have an extended free trade agreement.
“He (Boris Johnson) did not say that they (the British) will leave the negotiating table. So this is just rhetoric. He did not say they would not continue talking. So they will do it, “said a European diplomat in Brussels.
Another European source said that the European delegation in charge of the Brexit negotiations “is already packing for an intense week in London”, adding that “an agreement based on the Australian and Canadian model is simply not serious”.
But European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced new negotiations next week in Brussels.
“The EU continues to work for an agreement, but not at any cost. As expected, our negotiating team will travel to London next week to intensify these negotiations, “von de Leyen announced on Twitter.