The negotiators of the European Union and the UK are on the verge of reaching an agreement on fisheries, one of the three main points of contention in their months of arduous negotiations on a trade agreement. Most importantly, it is the disagreement over the rules of fair competition between UK and European companies that still stands in the way of an agreement, sources in both camps say.
London and Brussels have very different views on whether European fishermen are allowed to fish in British waters after January 1st and how much they can catch there but are now “slowly approaching a landing zone,” says an EU source. “This is not the main stumbling block.”
The negotiators, who picked up the thread again on Saturday evening after the intervention of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Ursula von der Leyen, are still mainly fighting with the so-called “fair playing field”. They cannot agree on whether the EU can take countermeasures if the British later relax rules on businesses or give state aid.