The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost is showing signs of being infected with coronavirus a day after his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier, tested positive for the disease. Number 10 confirmed Mr Frost is now self-isolating. Despite the coronavirus pandemic derailing face-to-face negotiations, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Brexit talks with the EU are expected to continue in the upcoming days.
Last week, the EU drafted a post-Brexit trade deal proposal, covering areas such as security, foreign policy and fisheries.
The 441-page draft legal text was sent to the 27 EU states, ahead of being presented to the UK next week.
According to political analysts, much of the draft will be outright rejected by the UK because of references to EU law and fishing.
France has already demanded Brussels pushes for access to UK fishing waters for 25 years after Brexit in exchange for a free trade agreement (FTA) with Brussels.
French President Emmanuel Macron recently said he is willing to put up a fight over the issue but so is Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Britons are not likely to forgive the former Mayor of London any concessions on the matter.
The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was a central part in the Brexit campaign and the majority of British fishermen and people living in coastal towns pushed for Britain to leave the bloc.
British fishermen believe UK waters are not only overfished by other EU countries but that the CFP also means they are restricted as to how much they can fish.
According to a newly resurfaced Brussels position paper, in 2009, the European Commission admitted the CFP had been a complete failure and urged a rethink, prompting British politician to call for its scrapping.
JUST IN: EU blunder: How bloc’s agreement ‘risked World War 3 outbreak’
Highlighting the figures, which showed that British fishermen saw 60 percent of their whitefish fleet scrapped and thousands of jobs destroyed, Mr Stevenson said: “This paper represents the most dramatic overhaul of fisheries management since the CFP was born and is a clear indication that the Commission now accepts that micro-management by eurocrats in Brussels has failed.”
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage also commented on the “shocking” paper, saying: “It is time to scrap the CFP in its entirety and look to successful national fisheries policies like Iceland and Norway.”
In February 2013 the European Parliament finally voted for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, which included measures to protect endangered stocks and the ending of discards.
However, the reforms were hard to implement and they only came into effect in January 2019.