The negotiators from the European Union and the United Kingdom are close to agreement on fisheries, one of the three main points of contention for months in their difficult negotiations on a trade agreement.
It is mainly the dispute over the rules for fair competition between British and European companies (for the British waters) that still stands in the way of an agreement, according to sources in both camps.
London and Brussels think very differently about whether European fishermen can fish in British waters after 1 January and how much they can catch there, but would now be ’slowly approaching a landing zone’, says a source on the EU side. ’This is not the main stumbling block.’
The negotiators, who, following the intervention of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Ursula von der Leyen, took the lead again on Sunday evening, are still struggling with the so-called ’fair playing field’. They do not agree on whether the EU can take countermeasures if the British later relax the rules on companies or grant state aid.