A TRADE deal between the EU and Britain is on the verge of being finalised, after the EU looked set to cave in on fishing rights.
An MEP broke ranks to say that it looked likely the French would have to compromise with Boris Johnson’s demands over UK waters.
Christophe Hansen said the EU would have to meet the UK’s demands to clinch an agreement.
“There will be compromises to be made on fisheries. The status quo, that is somewhere we’re not going to land,” he told an event.
French fishermen are understood to have backed a compromise despite losing out on access to certain fishing grounds.
The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has discussed the need to compromise in the trade talks if there is to be an agreement.
France had previously been refusing to back down on any fishing deal, demanding near-parity to the UK’s coastal waters.
It comes as the governor of the Bank of England warned that a no-deal Brexit would be more economically damaging that COVID to the UK.
Andrew Bailey said failure to get a deal signed would create a massive cross-border trade blockage and damage goodwill between Brussels and the UK.
Meanwhile, Ireland leader Micheal Martin said on Monday he was hopeful that a Brexit deal would be completed this week.
Taoiseach Martin said ‘by the end of this week we could see the outlines of a deal’.
He said it would come down to ‘political will, both in the United Kingdom and I’m clear the political will is there from the European Union’.
EU ambassadors were told over the weekend that a trade deal with Britain is on the verge of being finalised.
They were told the majority of the 11 main negotiation issues have ‘joint legal texts with fewer and fewer outstanding points’.
The European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen struck a positive note, saying: “After difficult weeks with very, very slow progress now we have seen in the last days better progress, more movement on important files. This is good.”