In Brief

The UK fishing offer raising hopes of a Christmas Brexit deal

Compromise on EU catch reduction may have unlocked last-minute talks

A UK counter-offer on fishing rights has raised hopes that the negotiating deadlock may be broken, paving the way for a possible Brexit deal before Christmas.

The proposal was tabled by UK chief negotiator David Frost following a “difficult period of negotiations” and is understood to have “unlock[ed] the troubled talks” after both sides were “seemingly entrenched”, The Guardian reports.

EU sources told the paper that “the British demand for a 60% reduction in the catch by value in British waters had been reduced to 35%, far closer to the 25% reduction that Frost’s EU counterpart” Michel Barnier.

Boris Johnson has also given the green light for a “five-year phase-in period for the new arrangements” and “a compromise also likely on the application of tariffs or export bans on goods where fishing access changes after the phase-in period”, the paper adds.

The new proposal is understood to “offer more protection for existing fish quotas and offer a compensation mechanism for reductions after a phased transition”, The Times reports, potentially satisfying both sides of the negotiating table.

The breakthrough follows the publication of a plan set out by Raoul Ruparel, a former special adviser under Theresa May’s premiership, on how future disputes could be settled through arbitration.

Writing on Politico, Ruparel said that “in a scenario where the EU quota share is reduced from the levels agreed at the end of the transition, an independent arbitration panel would determine the economic cost of that loss to the EU and allow the EU to levy tariffs in other areas beyond fishing to compensate”.

“Furthermore, the overall free-trade agreement will include a termination clause,” Ruparel added. “If in future, the UK attempted to cut the EU’s quota share in UK waters too far, the EU would always retain the right to notify termination of the agreement.”

Recommended

Deal or no deal: showdown Brexit talks resuming in Brussels
Brexit trade talks to resume between the European Union and the UK
In Depth

Deal or no deal: showdown Brexit talks resuming in Brussels

‘I will fix it’: Boris Johnson’s text to Sir James Dyson over tax issue
Sir James Dyson
Behind the scenes

‘I will fix it’: Boris Johnson’s text to Sir James Dyson over tax issue

London mayoral race 2021: who will win?
Night Tube Sadiq Khan
In Depth

London mayoral race 2021: who will win?

French government ‘enabled foreseeable’ Rwandan genocide
Paul Kagame and Emmanuel Macron in 2018
Getting to grips with . . .

French government ‘enabled foreseeable’ Rwandan genocide

Popular articles

What is Donald Trump doing now?
Donald Trump
In Depth

What is Donald Trump doing now?

London mayoral race 2021: who will win?
Night Tube Sadiq Khan
In Depth

London mayoral race 2021: who will win?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 21 April 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 21 April 2021